Video games have come a long way from arcade games to massively multiplayer online role playing games. The world of video games has all the ingredients of a good entertainment platform and slowly gaming is being accepted as a viable entertainment choice, even for adults. Gaming can even be therapeutic, emotionally, mentally and even physically. These tremendous feats achieved by the gaming industry are backed by creative and talented game developers and programmers who have taken the games to the next level. Although it is hard to choose the best from such a large number of influential people, here are 7 people who have had a major impact on video games.
7. Alexey Pajitnov
One game that everyone must have played at least once in their life is Tetris. It is one of the most popular arcade games of all time and is available on every platform possible. It has even been played on the side of buildings! This simple yet interesting puzzle game was developed by Russian computer engineer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. It was the first game to be exported from USSR to USA! Need I say more?
6. Toru Iwatani
When talking about arcade games, the name of Pac-Man has to come up. It remains the most popular arcade game of all time and just like Tetris, it still remains as playable as ever. Pac-Man was developed by Toru Iwatani in 1980. It remains a classic arcade game and Iwatani developed Pac-Man Championship Edition, the final version of the game, for the Xbox 360 in 2007.
5. Ralph H. Baer
Ralph H. Baer is known as the father of video games and for good reason. This German American pioneer developed the home console for video games on top of many other innovations in the gaming industry. If it wasn’t for him, none of us could have enjoyed our Xbox or Playstation today. He also invented the light gun that could be used to play point and shoot games.
4. Gunpei Yokoi
Another pioneer in consoles was Gunpei Yokoi who worked for Nintendo. He designed the Game Boy and Game & Watch consoles. He also came up with the cross pad that is seen on every controller today. He also worked with Shigeru Miyamoto during the development of legendary games such as Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. Many of his insights on game design were used my Miyamoto that led to the success of these games.
3. Hironobu Sakaguchi
Hironobu Sakaguchi formed Square Soft after dropping out of college. When his company was on the point of failure, he came up with one final attempt with Final Fantasy. The game became legendary and god knows how many sequels have been released to date. Final Fantasy has become a very big brand that includes video games, animation, movies, comics and merchandise. He continued to work with Square Soft until it merged with Enix and later started Mistwalker with the backing of Microsoft. He continues to develop RPGs for the Xbox console.
2. Sid Meier
Sid Meier is considered one of the fathers of the American computer games. He is definitely the father of strategy games. He started as the co-founder of MicroProse in 1982 and developed games such as Spitfire Ace, F-15 Strike Eagle, F-19 Stealth Fighter, Silent Service and Sid Meier’s Pirates. He also developed, Railroad Tycoon and the Civilization series. The most popular of his games has to be The Sims. He now works with Firaxis Games, the new company that he formed after he was bought out of MicroProse.
1. Shigeru Miyamoto
Without any doubt, the most influential person in the gaming industry, who has changed the shape of the industry several times and continues to do so, has to be Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo. He has continuously developed game changing software and hardware. His titles include Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. He’s basically involved with almost every Nintendo title that comes out. He’s the rockstar of the gaming industry and continues to play an active role in defining the direction in which the gaming industry is headed.