Steve Jobs named most influential man in gaming history

Steve Jobs has been named the most influential man in gaming, and the iPhone the most influential device in video game history.

Steve Jobs has a new accolade to add to his list of achievements. The founder of Apple has been named the most influential man in gaming, and the iPhone the most influential device in video game history.

More than 1,000 video gaming execs were surveyed to compile the list for the London Games Conference, which takes place next week. Read on for the full list.

Here's the full line-up:

  1. Steve Jobs founder of Apple and mastermind of the iPhone
  2. Gabe Newell co-founder and boss of Valve, the people behind Half-Life, Portal and Steam
  3. Shigeru Miyamoto developer at Nintendo and the creator of Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda
  4. Tim Berners-Lee inventor of the World Wide Web
  5. Mark Zuckerberg founder and boss of Facebook

Now sure, it's an exercise in promotion for the conference so a bit of controversy is probably welcome, and those surveyed should be given credit for thinking out of the box -- or rather, out of the console -- but we're not convinced by some of the names on here.

Jobs, who died last month, gets the nod for precipitating the seismic shift to casual gaming with the iPhone, which was also voted the most influential device in gaming history -- beating the Nintendo Wii, Xbox Live, the original PlayStation and Steam.

We'd argue we've had pocket-friendly, go-anywhere gaming for years -- where's the GameBoy on this list? -- but then the iPhone, and, just as important, the iTunes App Store, is filled with a different type of game. Instead of full-sized, expensive games, iPhone gamers play cheap, casual games that require little investment yet are utterly addictive. You could say it's the difference between a pop single and an album.

Facebook supremoid Mark Zuckerberg also appears as a casual gaming architect. To be fair, he's the guy who got our mums gaming. Sadly, that game is Farmville. Cheers for that, Zuckster.

We showed the list to our button-bashing buddy Mark Walton from GameSpot UK, who put down his Wiimote long enough to exclaim "Steve Jobs the 'most influential person' in gaming?! Not likely. Sure, the Apple II ushered in a golden age of gaming with titles like Zork and Ultima, and the iPhone continues to change the way we play, purchase, and value games today. But still, where the heck is John Carmack? Doom, anyone?"

Where, indeed, is Metal Gear guy Hideo Kojima, master strategiser Sid Meier, or Will Wright, the man who had us casual gaming with The Sims when the iPhone was still a twinkle in Jobs' eye? If we're thinking outside of the gaming world, what about Brian DePalma, after Scarface influenced so many shooty-crime games? For that matter, what about the GamesMaster himself, Patrick Moore?

We're sure you have plenty of suggestions of your own -- Tell us your thoughts of the list in the comments or on our Facebook page.

For all your gaming news, previews and videos needs check out GameSpot, including the casual gaming show Appetite for Distraction.

Tags:
Gaming
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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