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Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Saturday, 17 July 2010 15:29 UK
Games designer Keita Takahashi planning playground
Video games guru Keita Takahashi sitting in the present Woodthorpe Park play area
Video games guru Keita Takahashi has a degree in sculpture

A man widely considered to be one of the most imaginative and creative figures in the world of video games is designing a children's playground.

Keita Takahashi has spent a month in Nottingham working on plans for a new play area at Woodthorpe Grange.

The creator of a series of bizarre, surreal video games, said: "I want it to be something no-one has experienced before."

He is keeping specifics under wraps but revealed he plans a "bumpy" playground.

"I intend to create a design that fits in with the location. I don't want to disturb the trees by cutting them down, so instead, I've included them as part of the fun of the park."

The Japanese game designer was invited to build a playground by videogame festival organiser Iain Simons.

The director of GameCity offered him the opportunity during the 2009 festival after reading a BBC interview in which he stated that it was his dream.

Mr Takahashi, creator of Katamari Damacy and most recently Noby Noby Boy, two of the most celebrated cult hits in the history of video games, said he had been inspired by his return trip to England, even though he had not met Robin Hood.

"The leaves are much more alive. It feels much fresher. Working on my designs in Nottingham is made much easier by being here."

Six-year-old Keita

The 30-year-old, who has a degree in sculpture, said he was very excited by the project, which is to be partly funded by Nottingham City Council but mostly by private investors.

"I've had to return to my 6-year-old way of thinking in order to design this," he said.

Takahashi's Katamari Damacy
Katamari Damacy ("Clump Spirit") is a third-person puzzle-action video game
The plot involves a diminutive prince on a mission to rebuild the stars
The game was first released in 2003
UK website Play TM (called it "one of the greatest video games ever made"

However, Mr Takahashi added the play area will not just be for children.

"I hope that whole families will be able to play in the park together. It would be great if people's pet dogs can also play with the equipment.

"What gives me the most joy is seeing people having fun. [Playgrounds and video games] are both fun things. They actually aren't that different."

The playground design is now mostly finished but Mr Takahashi said he was still working on the safety aspects of the design.

He hopes that work on the playground will be completed in 2011. Then the game designer would like to build other playgrounds in different countries around the world.

GameCity5, Nottingham's independent videogame festival, takes place from 26 to 30 October 2010.




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