Since the early ‘80s, video games have gone through a drastic evolution. They’ve fallen from great heights in the infamous crash of 1983, been saved from near-death by the Nintendo Entertainment System in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and incorporated the internet to change how we play from pumping coins into arcade cabinets, to a worldwide media art form.
Numerous people have taken gigantic and positive steps to aid in this evolution, working from their respective positions and roles to change the course of history for the better. Their attitude, spirit, visions, and creativity have attributed to some of the most pivotal and progressive changes in the industry. Without these revolutionary individuals, we wouldn't be at the point we are today, and video games would be nowhere near the level they are currently at.
Whether designing new consoles, developing the next sub-genre or spearheading organisations, this is an ode to those who have contributed to the world of video games, leaving an everlasting mark on the greatest medium of entertainment.
10. Markus "Notch" Persson
It’s not every day someone creates something that becomes a part of popular culture, but that’s exactly what Markus “Notch” Persson and his team at Mojang did when they made Minecraft.
Minecraft’s endless sandbox world and near infinite content has had a huge impact on the gaming community thanks to its coverage on social media platforms, most notably YouTube and Twitch.
Persson’s brainchild is special in that it has permeated into popular culture and transcended the status of being just a creative video game, instead sitting as a trademark of its time. Such a huge demographic range (helped immensely by being ported to almost anything with a screen) means that Minecraft exists in many states, reaching millions of people around the world in the form of backpacks, t-shirts, spin-offs, Lego, magazines, and even its own convention. Minecraft’s coincidence with the perfect storm of social media raising its profile has taken everything to a height that few entities, let alone video games, have ever reached.
Awesome fact: Persson’s combined wealth from Minecraft meant he had enough to outbid Jay-Z for a mansion. What a baller.