Without a specific career field in mind, Mizuguchi majored in media aesthetics. While seeking possibilities in film, music and writing, he enters the field of interactive arts and entertainment.
After producing a few virtual reality simulator type games with Sega, Mizuguchi opens up the path for music-based games, the first of many games being “Space Channel 5”. The King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, made a cameo appearance in this very unique, comical and pop title, where 1960’s jazz meets outer space in the 25th century. It possessed a musical-like feel in a video game where dialogue, dancing and laughter came together in one interactive product. Ulala, the pink-haired main female character became an instant icon and was invited to make various “appearances” outside of the gaming field, including a commercial for the MTV Music Video Awards (2000) as well as a popular screensaver image for Vodafone mobile phones. A sequel followed soon after, where Michael Jackson appeared once again as the station head of intergalactic network, Space Channel 5.
Mizuguchi is perhaps most revered for creating the gaming odyssey that is “Rez.” It was here back in 2001 that he challenged himself to merge Kandinsky’s theory of synaesthesia experience. He blended trance, electronic music with the rich visual textures on screen to create the unique and highly popular music-based game. This quantization system provided a completely new musical-gaming experience. The innovative title collected many awards worldwide, including an honorary mention in Prix Ars Electronica 2002 Interactive Art Division.
Mizuguchi’s recent creations include the critically acclaimed music and luminary action puzzle game series “Lumines,” which was released worldwide in 2004 for the PSP (PlayStation Portable). He envisioned this to provide the “interactive audio and visual experience” in which the player would be “playing a Walkman”. The series has now developed into the mobile arena servicing over 76 countries (“Lumines Mobile”) as well as Xbox LIVE Arcade (“Lumines Live!”) and PlayStation 2 (“Lumines Plus”) platforms. In 2007, the sequel “Lumines II” was released and featured music videos of international artists.
Moreover, Mizuguchi succeeded in incorporating the theme of anti-war into a video game titled “Ninety Nine Nights,” which was released on the Xbox 360 in 2006. Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon” where one story is told from four different points of view and just having experienced the shock from the devastating events of 9/11, he was determined to create a game where the player was able to choose his/her party of justice. Through the fantasy setting of humans versus goblins, players were given the opportunity to view the pain and suffering encountered by both sides during the battles. This game was released worldwide and caused quite a stir.
In 2006, Mizuguchi was selected as one of the “Digital 50” by the Producers Guild of America and The Hollywood Reporter, in which they acknowledge the top 50 new media producers and innovators in the realm of digital storytelling.
In his most recent project, Genki Rockets, Mizuguchi’s concept as well as story-telling in the form of lyrics are brought to life. July 7, 2007 will mark their performance debut at the Tokyo venue of Live Earth, the global music event initiated Al Gore. A truly special holographic performance by Genki Rockets along with Mr. Gore will kick-off the show to viewers around the world.