Gamasutra has a piece looking at the background behind the awarding of medals by the French government
to Shigeru Miyamoto, Frédérick Raynal, and Michel Ancel. From the article: "'They deserve it don't you think? You know their work, their talent.' Of course, but still, how come? 'Well, you know, we're always talking with the Ministry of Culture, and it's our job to explain our industry to the political body.' So the idea just 'emerged' during casual conversations between some minister and some video game representative. And when two French game designers were picked, it suddenly seemed obvious that it couldn't be a serious initiative without including Japanese legend Shigeru Miyamoto."