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The Names Behind The Games

MiyamotoTime Magazine has a large feature in this week's issue singing the praises of "The Time 100", one hundred of the world's most influential politicians, entertainers, scientists, and visionaries as judged by the magazine.  Mixed in with people such as George W. Bush, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey are "The Halo Trinity", better known to devoted fans of the Halo series of games as Jason Jones, Marcus Lehto, and Charlie Gough.

The three men are not actually identified by name until the third paragraph of their four paragraph entry.  While it is nice to see Time include people from the world of video games on their list, listing them under the name of the game they and their team created instead of their actual names seems to put them at a lower rung of the list than their Time-listed colleagues.  Steve Jobs is not listed as "The Apple Guy", just as Oprah Winfrey is not "The Talk Show Woman".  Yet it is fine to list Jones, Lehto, and Gough as "The Halo Trinity".  Something's not right here.

Video games have been a growing part of business and culture for more than twenty years now and yet the men and women behind some of the greatest games in the industry's short history are often nameless to most people.  Ask most people who created Mario and Donkey Kong and you'll most likely hear "Nintendo".  Who created Sonic the Hedgehog?  "Sega".  While these answers are technically correct, it is not right that talented designers and directors such as Shigeru Miyamoto (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pikmin) and Yuji Naka (Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Nights Into Dreams) are often unknown to their own fans.  There are people behind classic creations such as SimCity, Grand Theft Auto, and Metroid (Wil Wright, David Jones, Gunpei Yokoi).  Then beyond the designers and directors are the programmers, the musicians, the artists, and everyone else who works together to create a little bit of magic in a cartridge or on a disc.

Companies publish video games.  People create them.  Never forget that.

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