13th Entertainment Division Critiques

SAITO Yutaka

Japan Media Arts Festival may sound rather serious, but in fact, the entries are a veritable parade of unique and fun pieces. We encountered numerous works during the screening sessions, and as a result, were able to see the current trends of the art scene clearly. In that regard, we are fortunate as jury members to have been given such an opportunity. As with last year, few games were selected as award-winning works in the Entertainment Division. We see this as an indication that games as media arts have hit a wall, and will have to wait a while until they are able to break through again. On the other hand, the development of web and visual image works has been something of an eye-opener. As seen from the award-winning works, this year's Japan Media Arts Festival conveys the certain feeling that the digital world draws closer to the human element and has started gradually to take root in our lives.

SAITO Yutaka
Game Designer
Born in Tokyo, 1962. Graduated from Waseda University, School of Science and Engineering, major in architecture. In 1993, he released the simulation game The Tower. In 1998, he established VIVARIUM Inc. and assumed the post of President and CEO. In 1999, He released the virtual pet video game Seaman: Kindan no Pet (Seaman: The Forbidden Pets), and won a number of awards, including the Excellence Prize in the Digital Art Interactive Division of the 3rd Japan Media Arts Festival. In 2005, he released the war strategy simulation game Odama. Currently, he is involved in research and development in the fields of artificial intelligence and natural language dialogue systems at VIVARIUM Inc. In 2010, he became the creative director of Movatwi.