As I write this, Shigeru Miyamoto is currently at #2 on Time Magazine’s list of Most Influential People of the Year. He’s currently being beaten out by Stephen Colbert.
In case you didn’t know, Shigeru Miyamoto is the guy that brought us the Wii, and many of the classics (Super Mario, Zelda, etc). With the Wii, he has enabled gaming to appeal to the masses. His innovations with the Wii will probably be copied soon enough by the other console makers (already partially copied by Sony on the PS3 after the Wii took the spotlight at E3). But they probably would not even think of going in that direction, if not for Miyamoto’s innovative leadership. Miyamoto has probably changed the landscape and future for all of the console gaming world, and kept Nintendo in the game for a lot longer than anyone expected.
There are potentially others who deserve to be higher than Miyamoto. I’m thinking Al Gore at #31. He’s enabled greenhouse gases to get into the political and public spotlight with his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, something many advocates and scientists have unsuccessfully tried to do in the past many years. But look at who’s #1 right now. Stephen Colbert.
Does Stephen Colbert really deserve to be called the most influential person of the year? He’s an amazing comedian, but what has he actually influenced? Getting a small town in Ontario to name the mayor’s birthday Stephen Colbert Day? Come on, Miyamoto is way more deserving. He’s brought gaming mainstream. :) Go vote for Shigeru Miyamoto at Time’s website here.
Update: Just found out that Ken Kuturagi, creator of the Playstation, is stepping down from his post at Sony after Nintendo soundly beat them in the market. The Playstation ruled the console world for a decade. Just one more example of how Miyamoto has influenced the world.