Each year, Time Magazine compiles a list of the 100 most influential people of the year, spanning politics, entertainment, and everything in between. One entry that is particularly noteworthy this year is Shigeru Miyamoto, the Senior marketing director at Nintendo and the General manager of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development (EAD). You might better know him as the creator of Super Mario.
He has never been featured on a Time front cover nor has he ever made this top 100 list. I guess with the sudden surge in interest in Nintendo — particularly surrounding the Nintendo Wii, and to a lesser extent, the touch-sensitive Nintendo DS Lite. I’m a self-proclaimed Nintendo fanboy, so clearly I’m glad to see Shiggy not only make the list, but currently hold the #2 spot overall. He lags behind Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report (who I also like).
Here are the top ten according to rank:
The only name that I didn’t recognize in the top ten was Steve Spangler. With a quick Wikipedia search, I discovered that Spangler was the guy that tossed a Mentos into a Diet Coke bottle. How exactly is that influential?
When you look at who got the most votes, though, the picture is a little different:
Who are those first two guys with loads and loads of votes? Well, Bhumibol Adulyadej is also known as Rama IX, the current king of Thailand. He is very well loved in his home country, but he was not born in Thailand; he was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nonetheless, Bhumibol “is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-serving monarch in Thai history.”
Never heard of Rain? I was surprised that people had such a strong opinion of precipitation, and then I learned that Rain (real name Jung Ji-Hoon) is a Korean pop artist. He’s well known in several Asian countries but is a relative nobody everywhere else.
And where’s the war-monging George W. Bush in all of this? He’s ranked #42. Remember this is not supposed to be a popularity contest, per se. It’s about how influential the person is.
Anyways, I encourage you to go over to Time and vote on who you think are the most influential people of the year. Vote for Shiggy!