Today Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi was awarded an honorary degree in vehicle engineering by the Italian University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
The motivation behind the award lay behind Yamauchi-san’s effort and expertise applied to the design of the cars in the Gran Turismo series, and his creativity and technical mastery in the creation of driving video games. Those skills were also demonstrated in Yamauchi-san’s collaboration with several auto manufacturers in designing dedicated Vision Gran Turismo concept cars, including General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Bugatti and Fittipaldi motors.
Kazunori Yamauchi himself commented mentioning that he believes the dream of speed to be universal, and humanity always pursued it. Gran Turismo is the first avenue that allowed him to feel like he was one with the car, and only after starting to race on real cars, he understood that such sensation was correct.
According to him, there isn’t that much difference between real and virtual, and the Gran Turismo series allowed him both to express his passion for the automotive universe, and to share it with millions of people across the world.
Twenty years from the first Gran Turismo games, receiving the degree from the department dedicated to the father of modern motorsport (the Engineering Department of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia is named after Enzo Ferrari) is an emotional experience for Yamauchi, as it proves that creativity, enthusiasm, and perseverance allow humans to reach ever more ambitious goals.
Sony Interactive Entertainment Italy General Manager Marco Saletta also commented, mentioning that the honorary degree awarded to Kazunori Yamauchi marks the consecration of the gaming industry as an authentic cultural expression of modernity.
The Dean of the University, Prof. Angelo O. Andrisano explained that Yamauchi-san is a manager and a technician who is leaving a mark in the history of Gran Turismo car design, and on the development of driving simulators, which actually echoes in the automotive industry.
Below you can check out a few pictures of the event provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment via press release.