My Top… However Many

I was included in a Top Twenty list of MMO people. I was tremendously flattered. I haven’t sent Brucie any money in months, and he still included me.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of Top X lists; they’re by nature somewhat arbitrary. The Time 100 always sends me around the bend. Sending people around the bend is the point, however, as it sells magazines. You’re supposed to read the list, gasp, and run to your computer to dash off letters that say, “How could you include this person but not that person!!!?”

Time even interviews their past nominees, so those who have been honored can get their gasping and dashing recognized as part of the prize.

Well, here’s my “this list is woefully incomplete without THESE people” contribution:

1. Scott Jennings. If you are making an MMO, you are designing your PR, your CS, and your volunteer program to preempt/defuse/woo Lum the Mad, even if you’ve never heard of Lum the Mad because you are too young/new to this neck of the internet. If that’s not influence, nothing is.

2. Jessica Mulligan. Her bio usually uses the word “pioneer” somewhere. She actually deserves to use it.

3. The Diku Mud gang. If you don’t know why I include them, go to Wikipedia NOW.

4. Nick Yee/Edward Castronova. These two have done more to convince the world at large to treat MMOs seriously than anyone actually making the damn things.

This is where I get brain freeze. There are a lot of people who changed the MMO world for me, but might not mean anything to you.

Any universals that I missed? Comment away.



  1. Staarkhand said,

    May 28, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Is this only people with a current job making MMOs? I only ask because how else could Richard Bartle be left off their list and yours unless he’s somehow disqualified because he’s doing, well, whatever it is he’s doing.

  2. Michael Campbell said,

    May 29, 2008 at 1:20 am

    No Brad McQuaid? Like him or hate him (I suspect more the latter than the former, these days), but to take him out of MMO history is quite an oversight.

    Then again, that list was for 2007, so … not sure Vanguard was enough for ’07 (or ’08!) for that.

  3. Scott Jennings said,

    May 29, 2008 at 7:51 am

    If it’s 2007, I didn’t do anything that year.

    Really. Ignore the frantic arm gestures behind the curtain.

  4. May 29, 2008 at 8:30 am

    […] This list went around the various offices and mailing lists today. Everyone seems to have their own opinion of who should/shouldn’t be on it. As do I. But because I actually am starting to grow up and […]

  5. mystery said,

    May 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Cool, with a shotgun held to their heads, most of the people on that list would admit to having met me or held conversations with me. I’ve made it ma! The big time!

    …Whoa, my self delusion meter just exploded. 😛

  6. Krinsath said,

    May 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t know how influential he really is, but Paul Barnett from the Warhammer team certainly needs to start appearing on some lists. As one comment on a YouTube of his E3 presentation in the early days of WAR mentioned: “Developers: if you can’t find this sort of energy and passion for what you’re making, go home.” 🙂

    Sure, he’s paid to have that sort of energy, but when I’m watching the materials as much to see his performance as to get the information on the game he presents, I think that says something about the person.

  7. May 29, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Well deserved.

  8. Arrakiv said,

    May 30, 2008 at 4:58 am

    The list doesn’t look to terrible… But, I have to admit, your additions make plenty of sense.

  9. Jessica Mulligan said,

    May 30, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Congrats, Sanya! Well deserved, indeed.

  10. Lore said,

    May 31, 2008 at 4:40 am


  11. Lume said,

    May 31, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Richard Garriott only #11? Hrm. But yeah, definitely well-deserved to be on that list. I still hold a lot of respect for your time with Mythic, moreso than any other community staffer to date. Prolific, honest and straightforward.

  12. SirBruce said,

    May 31, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Boomjack over at TenTonHammer is giving me a lot of grief for including you, Sanya. But your name was recommended by a lot of industry folks I talked to, so your influence is definitely still there. At least in 2007.

  13. SirBruce said,

    May 31, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Hmmm, I take that back, now he says he wasn’t criticizing your inclusion specifically. 🙂

  14. June 1, 2008 at 12:31 am

    […] Via Sanya, I laid eyes upon Beckett’s list of the “Top 20 Influential People in Massively Multiplayer Video Games” for last year. If you’ve read the site before you’re probably already aware of what I think about Massive Online Gamer. Though it has definitely improved since it launched, it’s still not all that great. The last issue I thumbed through had some weak-sauce interviews with folks I know are more interesting than they were made out to be. The core of the mag is still semi-obsolete World of Warcraft strats, with a idiotic advertisement for Skittles at the end. […]

  15. Blackblade said,

    June 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I have to agree with Krinsath.

    Along with Scott, Paul definitely needs to be on that list. He’s doing a hell of a lot of good PR spin for Warhammer. Like Krinsath, I also watch the videos to see Paul in action as much as I am for information about the game…

    And on the note of Warhammer videos… MJ.. Please.. Your job is to run the company.. Let Paul or Josh do the talking. 😀

    I also think Richard Garriott would be much higher on the list. I think, technically, Meridian 59 was the first graphical MMO (Could be wrong, to lazy to check), but UO was the first “popular” one, I think to breach the hundred thousand mark. Or did EQ do that first, but UO eventually caught up… ? Damn my laziness.

  16. June 24, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Bruce, you know that my opinion doesn’t matter. The list was written to promote some discussion. I discussed. It would be challenging to make the claim (and give you some traffic) that the list could be different if I wasn’t able to insert some names and remove others. Sanya just happened to be the name I picked out of the hat. (Sorry Sanya if you were offended, though I doubt that is the case.)

    Krinsath, Paul is pretty much like his videos at all times of the day. It’s not an act. He’s an intelligent, witty guy with an accent that helps his cause.

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