Monday, April 23, 2007

Let's do something nice for someone

"TIME" magazine is having their annual vote for the "100 Most-Influnetial People" kerfluffle, something I usually don't pay attention to as it tends to just be an entirely-unsurprising roster of celebrity do-gooders, of-the-moment noteworthy's, 'hip' comedians/imported pop singers that the magazine is a year or two behind in "getting on board with" and whichever foreign politicians most of the U.S. just found out existed this year (currently leading the votes this year: Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand. Yes, that Bhumibol Adulyadej.)

But nestled snug among the sea of Bonos and Gores is a guy who's never been on the list before, despite being a huge worldwide influence and possibly the most significant player in his industry for decades: SHIGERU MIYAMOTO, the often-hailed "Spielberg of video-games," creator of the Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Zelda, etc. The man who's contributions to the culture (there would not have BEEN an NES or a home-console revival without the original SMB) saved gaming from losing it's shirt amid the Crash of 83, and who's commitment to resisting fads (you'll never see an "XTREME MARIO!!!" abomination while he's drawing breath) and contributions to the legacy-focused Wii may yet save gaming from losing it's soul in the age of Sony and Microsoft's corporate-synergized behemoths.

His (and his other Nintendo in-house stalwarts) autumn-of-a-career return to prominence in the wake of The Wii plays out like a kind of cosmic justice: As the sudden "mainstreaming" of gaming has a previously-clueless mass culture heralding "Madden" and "Halo" as if it had all just showed up overnight, threatening to render the format's real original pioneers mere pop-cultural footnotes, he's back to make sure everyone knows full well who Daddy still is. He's one of those guys like Jim Henson, who's tremendous influence and import aren't fully appreciated because the form in which they've chosen to work isn't precisely "mainstream" or fully respected in their own time. Except that this is the age of the internet, which if nothing else is THE premier tool for 'hooking up' guys like this with the credit they might otherwise be denied.

You know where this is going: Here's the link to the TIME profile:,28804,1611030_1610841_1609873,00.html

Wanna do something nice for a guy who there's a pretty good chance has done some nice things for you and your's? Take that little bar in the upper right-hand corner, drag it over into the realm of "100%" or thereabouts and click "submit." Vote like the dead in New York: Early and often. As of this posting, he's in the Top 5 - just behind Stephen Colbert, Korean pop singer Rain, Bono and the King of Thailand. #1 might be a bit much, but to keep him in the Top 5 for publication would be AMAZING and entirely appropriate especially if he remained neck-and-neck with Colbert. C'mon, this'll be fun. Take a minute or two, vote a couple hundred times, and give a good guy a break.