Most influential person in history is quite a title, I think most people would agree that Jesus Christ would be the main person behind the next 2000 years after his death but its disputable whether or not he was actually real, so… a few guys I think up for debate:
Alexander the Great – conquered most of the middle east during his time and influenced Western history so much he has his own period named after his time on Earth – the Hellenistic period.
Julius Caesar – I think if anyone’s names get remembered 2000 years after they die and they stay famous for that long of a time, safe to say they are pretty darn influential
Confucius and Buddha – a HUGE influence among basically all of modern Asia
Genghis Khan – for much the same reason as Alexander/Caesar, a conqueror who shaped a lot of modern Asia and middle east
Sir Isaac Newton – probably along with Einstein the most famous scientist in history though without Newton there wouldn’t be Einstein so…
Christopher Columbus – yes its debatable whether or not he ‘discovered’ America but hey he is still the name brought up the most so…
William Shakespeare – if we’re talking effect on the English language he has to be #1
Nicolaus Copernicus – kickstarted the Scientific Revolution in the West that would last until Newton
Socrates/Plato – Again these guys were the backbone of Western civilization for over 2000 years so.. they got to be up there. And no one really knows whether Socrates actually existed so thats why I combined them.
Aristotle – the guy who would shape science for almost 2000 years. Until Newton, this guy was the pre-eminent scientific source for everything
Martin Luther – responsible for creation of Protestantism and all the history/wars that brought….
Muhammed – the founder of Islam, the second most popular religion on Earth
Note: I don’t put Jesus on here because his existence depends on whether you are Christian or not 🙂
Beyond 1700s I really don’t want to say anyone because too little time has elapsed for them to be considered most influential in human history although I want to put George Washington, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Adolf Hitler here…
Well theres a few key people I would say in NBA history who are very important
George Mikan – for being the first NBA superstar
Red Auerbach – for drafting Bill Russell and starting the Celtics dynasty and for a good few decades the best NBA coach there was
Wilt Chamberlain – caused a bunch of rule changes in the NBA to stop his dominance such as dunking from the free throw line – still enforced today
Rick Barry – changed free agency rules
Oscar Robertson – led to higher player salaries
Spencer Haywood – allowed players to leave college early to play professionally, previously all players had to play 4 years in college
Jerry West – for being the NBA logo, for contributing to 11 championships with the Lakers either as a player or executive – yes thats every single championship that the Lakers have won in LA
Julius Erving – one of the main reasons why the NBA decided to absorb the ABA was to acquire this man
Magic Johnson & Larry Bird – for saving the NBA back in the 1980s. The NBA was not very popular in the 1970s and Magic/Bird saved it
David Stern – for growing the NBA globally in the 1980s and beyond
Michael Jordan – for making the NBA explode into popularity across the globe. if Magic and Larry saved it in the US, Jordan took it internationally and is STILL the most famous basketball player ever to live. His merchandise still sells millions even though he’s been retired for over a decade thats how important to the NBA he was.
Yay.. another top 20 list!! Here we go.. the topic is Video games. I’m going to list the video games in order of influence, and mention the developer, the first console it was published for (starting with Atari, not gonna count Space War or Pong since those were before consoles), and the first year it was released in.
Developer: id Software
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
This game is the most important of all time because it made first person shooters popular. There were FPS games before Doom like Wolf3D and Catacomb Abyss, but this was the most well known one. Without Doom, we wouldn’t have the multi-billion dollar gaming industry of Call of Duty and Halo like we do now, its that simple. I remember my parents wouldn’t let me play this game because it was “violent” at the time. Now seems silly cause its so pixellated.
Space Invaders has become synonymous with video games because of the pixellated space alien character. It pioneered space shooting games which were popular in the 1980s, and video games in general because without it, the modern video game industry wouldn’t have been born. This is the game that made Atari 2600 popular, and thus making video games a viable industry as a whole.
Pac-man, like Space Invaders, made video games accepted and popular among the masses. It was a brilliantly addictive game that continues to be widely played today. This game and space invaders helped create the video game industry and pave way for more advanced games, both on arcades and on consoles.
Tetris is one of the most addictive and popular video games of all time. Designed by one Russian programmer, it has led to numerous versions and remixes, and continues to be widely known and played, much like Pac-man. This was the game that sold Game boy to the masses.
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario Bros made platformers popular in the late 80s/early 90s, and revived the video game industry from the crash of 1983. It is one of the most well known and important video games of all time. The success of this game led to the success of games like Sonic, and Super Mario 64, and other platforming games, but this is the original.
Developer: Rockstar North
Console: Playstation 2
Hard to estimate the impact of this game. In 2001, games were mostly linear, requiring you to finish a set of goals in a certain order. When this game came out, people were blown away because of the freedom they had. I had friends who played this game for days on end, because there was essentially no “end” to it. You could just not do the missions and just go about the city. This was and is a landmark title for video games for that kind of influence.
This game single-handededly saved Microsoft’s ass, and revitalized the FPS genre to boot. When Halo came out, it popularized the notion of using vehicles in FPS, and using shields instead of health packs, and only carrying two weapons. In comparison to 90s FPS like Doom, Quake, Duke3D, Unreal Tournament, which focused more on how many weapons and powerups you could get. Without Halo, there wouldn’t be Call of Duty or Battlefield or modern FPS’s.
Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
This game made the fighting genre popular in the 90s, and spawned other games like Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, etc. Anyone ever heard of Street Fighter I?? No, everyone talks about II, because this is the one that made it to the USA and made it popular. This is the one that had like 20 different versions.
World of Warcraft was the first popular MMORPG. Yes I know there was Everquest and Ultima Online, but WoW made the genre really well known in the public mind. People died over this game. People starved their kids to play this game. Anyways, its immensely influential, and you can see its influence in MMORPGs today like League of Legends and Guild Wars.
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game for the genre. It established elements popular in the genre including the overhead map, puzzles, role playing, etc. The influence of Zelda can be felt in virtually every adventure and RPG game today.
Final Fantasy VII made Japanese RPGs popular in western culture.. before there were a minority of players playing great classics like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger but JRPGs really became popular after Final Fantasy made it. Final Fantasy established the traditional JRPG formula, and blended it with great graphics and great storytelling, and spawned a legion of cosplayer fans everywhere. Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are considered amongst the greatest RPGs of all time, but I think FFVII still wins based on influence.
Angry Birds is the game that really made mobile games a force to contend with. They were such a runaway hit, and spawned such successful sequels that now iOS and Android can compete with PSP and Nintendo DS in the handheld market. In 2009, no one thought mobile games would be that big. Before Angry Birds, mobile games were essentially the equivalent of flash games and facebook games. But Angry Birds really proved how successful mobile games could be.
Starcraft was one of my most beloved games when I was young. I used to make mods and conversions for it, and played the LAN multiplayer all day with my friends. It is one of the most influential RTS games of all time. It is so successful in Korea that they have 24 hour channels broadcasting tournaments there. The races are perfectly balanced. The story is great. The cinematics are awesome. And the multiplayer is very addictive. Even 15 years later, my Korean friends are still playing it.
I’m also going to put Quake in this entry as well, but basically these two games changed FPS’s from Doom-like clones and dungeon shootem ups to a genre with more realistic graphics and awesome multiplayer abilities. I remember playing Goldeneye for hours every day after school at my friends house, and the multiplayer was just awesome. All those cheats, levels and mods were great. A very influential game in the genre.
Like Goldeneye, Halo, Doom and Quake, Half-life evolved the FPS genre. Where Goldeneye and Quake made FPS’s more realistic, Half-life gave them more depth, making use of scripted dialog to make the game feel more like a cinematic film rather than a typical shoot-em up. Without Half-life, there wouldn’t be Halo, and without Halo there wouldn’t be modern FPS games like Call of Duty.
Developer: id Software
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Ahh.. how I loved playing Commander Keen in my childhood. This was the first game to use smooth scrolling platforming on the PC, and it revolutionized platform gaming on the PC. After Commander Keen came out, all these DOS games that were basically platforming clones of it came out as well. Commander Keen itself was based on the smooth platforming of Super Mario, that wasn’t done on PC at the time until John Carmack figured out a way to do it.
Sim City (and by extension, the Sims), made simulation games a viable genre. Before Simcity, there weren’t any really good simulators out for things like playing God and building your own city, or controlling your own inhabitants. Its legacy can be felt in virtually all Sims games by both Maxis and other companies.
Developer: Game Freak
Console: Game Boy
Boy, was Pokemon a huge fad when it came out. Pokemon cartoons, stuffed animals, trading cards – kind of like how Angry Birds is now. Anyways, it was a huge deal when it hit the US, because the concepts were so unique. Catching monsters to battle?? Trading monsters?? TWO versions of the same game?? It was such a unique idea at the time, and it was executed so well. Millions of children became addicted to the game, and I still don’t mind playing it today.
Deus Ex is a game of magnificent proportions… released by Ion Storm (the same studio that made the ill-fated Daikatana) in 2000, the game combines FPS, stealth, adventure and RPG genres, and does it seamlessly. For the great blend of elements, gameplay, graphics, storytelling and sheer scope, its often considered the best PC game of all time. Its legacy can be felt in virtually all sci-fi FPS’s since then, including Bioshock and Fallout 3.
Console: Nintendo Wii
Wii Sports, along with Guitar Hero, made casual games part of social parties, and made motion/peripheral gaming popular. Without Wii Sports, its arguable whether or not Nintendo would have sold so many Wii consoles, and its influence on casual gaming is pretty vast, having influenced pretty much the design of the PS Move and the Xbox Kinect, and all those motion based games as well.