cover art for Tetsuya Mizuguchi, creator of Rez.

My Perfect Console with Simon Parkin

Tetsuya Mizuguchi, creator of Rez.

Ep. 20

My guest today is the Japanese designer of some of the most transcendent music-themed video games yet made.

He graduated with a degree in media aesthetics from Nihon University, then, inspired by a photograph of a virtual reality headset made by NASA, joined Sega hoping to work on a similar project. A keen sports car enthusiast, he developed the arcade racing game Sega Rally Championship then, during a research trip in Switzerland, attended a dance music concert and found himself in a crowd of tens of thousands. Seeing how the music, lights and bodies moved together, set him on a new path toward making full-sensory digital experiences.

In 2001 he released Rez, a trance-themed game in which players shoot down computer viruses in time to the beat; it is today widely regarded as one of the high points of digital expression. “I still feel like I am in the middle of my career,” he once told me. “I’ve only achieved half of what I want to. And I have not lost my excitement about games.” Welcome, Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

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