Four More Important People that Don't Have Wikis on Giant Bomb

For those who have not done so already please read the first edition of this series of blogs (Four Important People that Don't Have Wiki Articles on Giant Bomb) to understand my intention when making these blogs. As for this edition astute readers will probably notice two things. First that this is longer than the first part and that for the most part this edition places a greater emphasis on the more technical aspects of the video game industry. This, unlike my inability to produce concise sentences, is not unintentional. When we turn on our video game consoles and computers we have the expectation that they will work and be capable of processing everything that we desire them to. For those that have made this possible a certain level of thanks should be in store for them.

Oh and if you happen to be MattyFTM, I'd like you to know that I have triple checked to make sure you will be incapable of proving me wrong, and I'd also like to say that being attacked by you is like being savaged by a dead sheep.

-Doug Lowenstein-

Doug Lowenstein talking during E3, the trade show he created.

To the many people who do know who Doug Lowenstein is, his contributions to the video game industry are clear. Mr. Lowenstein founded the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade organization that represents video game companies that are members of the organization. When he first founded the ESA he felt that the video game industry was in need of a trade organization that would represent the video game industry in the political world of the United States as opposed to leaving the video game industry a fragmented, self representing industry. One of his first decisions was to support the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and make the ESRB ratings, in the United States the industry accepted age ratings. Also while head of the ESA Mr. Lowenstein used the ESA to represent the video game industry when dealing with numerous pieces of state legislature that limited the consumption of video games. However the effectiveness of the ESA has been questioned on numerous occasions. To many it was his hands off approach when dealing with anti-video game figures such as Jack Thompson and Leland Yee that caused many to ask whether or not the industry even needed the ESA. However Mr. Lowenstein did create one event that ever gamer, designer, and writer supported, E3. In attempt to make the video game industry prove itself as a growing industry deserving the attention of the mass market Mr. Lowenstein created E3 to excite gamers about what the future would hold in store for video games. In doing so he founded one of the largest (until recent times) and most envied trade events ever organized. It would draw the attention of not only industry veterans, but also numerous burgeoning video game developers and publishers. However the effectiveness of theE3’s ability to promote smaller brands and independent video games projects was criticized as these projects would often times become strangled by the domineering personas of larger projects. While his effectiveness as a trade representative is often questioned, he was able to make many realize that the video game industry was large and rapidly expanding. As a result he convinced many critics that the video game industry would rival that of all other types of media.


-Bjarne Stroustrup-


Mr. Stroustrup thinking of how he could make C++ better than Java.
Bjarne Stroustrup is man who after I inform you as to what he has contributed in his lifetime your response will be “Oh, he made THAT?” So what did Mr. Stroustrup create that makes him an important man to note? C++…Bjarne Stroustrup created C++. For all of those potential video game designers and computer engineers C++ has become your native language of sorts. For the unaware C++ is a programming language that featured many innovations when it was first introduced that allowed programming far easier.  C++ implements "data abstraction" using a concept called "classes", along with other features to allow object-oriented programming. C++ also adds a concept called "operator overloading" not seen in the earlier OOP languages, and it makes the creation of libraries much cleaner and simplifies memory management. Additionally, some of the features of C++ allow low-level access to memory but also contain high level features. For numerous of burgeoning game developers C++ was their first exposure for programming and memory management. For creating a simple and accessible programming language that allowed for a greater number of people to get involved in software and hardware development in the video game industry (and to a greater extent the computer industry)—Bjarne Stroustrup deserves a certain level of thanks.


-Sir Clive Sinclair-


Sir Clive Sinclair with his greatest creation, the ZX Spectrum.
Sir Clive Marles Sinclair has been an iconic and often controversial figure in British industry for more than quarter of a century. He chalked up significant successes early in his life—the first pocket calculator, the first pocket television, and most importantly the best-selling British computer of all time, the ZX Spectrum. The Spectrum is widely and fondly remembered in Britain by those who grew up in the 1980's, and many of the games developed for the system by home programmers paved the way for many of the leading European software houses of today. It also taught a generation the basics of computer science and programming, due to the popularity of "program your own game" articles in Spectrum fan magazines, as well as numerous contests. In addition due to the limited functionality of the basic machine, many users "hacked" their computer to add additional functionality. As a result the ZX Spectrum not only ushered in a new era of game developers but also supported some of the first modders in the computer industry. However Sir Sinclair is as well known for his spectacular successes as he is with his horrendous failures, most notably the C5 electric vehicle. He was lauded (and eventually awarded a knighthood) by Margaret Thatcher's government for leading what was seen as a renaissance of British industry, but was seen in other quarters as offering only skin-deep solutions to Britain's industrial malaise. Now in his sixties, Sir Clive still continues to produce a variety of innovative products from his London headquarters.


-Robert Noyce-

The Aptly Titled "Mayor of Silicon Valley"
While most of his innovations where never directly tied to video games or their consoles, if it had not been for two of Mr. Noyce’s projects the development of video game technology would have been greatly stifled. Look at the computer you are using right now and ask yourself who made it possible for it to process everything you want it to. If you don’t know the answer then now you do. Your laptop or desktop computer, video game console, and thousands of other computing devices all depend on the integrated circuit that Robert Noyce co-invented. That’s right Robert Noyce invented the first practical microchip…and if you don’t know how important that is for computer and console gaming then half of your brain must be missing. Robert Noyce did all this while he was Fairchild Semiconductors, a corporation that Mr. Noyce helped found. For those that remember the Fairchild name what happens next is clear. Noyce oversaw the development of the Fairchild Video Entertainment System; latter called the more iconic Fairchild Channel F. The console used Noyce’s Fairchild F8 CPU, and as a result was capable of being a programmable video game system. With the Channel F, video gamers for the first time were required to insert a ROM cartridges in order play their video games. This was a large improvement over the game dedicated console that had come before the Channel F. As a result of the Channel F, the ROM cartridge was established as the main form of data storage for video games until the advent of the CD-ROM. However Mr. Noyce would leave Fairchild Semiconductors to found another pioneer of computer and console development—Intel, where he he oversaw Ted Hoff's invention of the microprocessor. Which if you also don’t understand how important this is for computer and console development you must be missing half of your brain. A constant innovator, Robert Noyce continued to participate in championing the computer sciences until his untimely death due to a heart attack on June 3, 1990.

11 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by ZombiePie
For those who have not done so already please read the first edition of this series of blogs (Four Important People that Don't Have Wiki Articles on Giant Bomb) to understand my intention when making these blogs. As for this edition astute readers will probably notice two things. First that this is longer than the first part and that for the most part this edition places a greater emphasis on the more technical aspects of the video game industry. This, unlike my inability to produce concise sentences, is not unintentional. When we turn on our video game consoles and computers we have the expectation that they will work and be capable of processing everything that we desire them to. For those that have made this possible a certain level of thanks should be in store for them.

Oh and if you happen to be MattyFTM, I'd like you to know that I have triple checked to make sure you will be incapable of proving me wrong, and I'd also like to say that being attacked by you is like being savaged by a dead sheep.

-Doug Lowenstein-

Doug Lowenstein talking during E3, the trade show he created.

To the many people who do know who Doug Lowenstein is, his contributions to the video game industry are clear. Mr. Lowenstein founded the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade organization that represents video game companies that are members of the organization. When he first founded the ESA he felt that the video game industry was in need of a trade organization that would represent the video game industry in the political world of the United States as opposed to leaving the video game industry a fragmented, self representing industry. One of his first decisions was to support the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and make the ESRB ratings, in the United States the industry accepted age ratings. Also while head of the ESA Mr. Lowenstein used the ESA to represent the video game industry when dealing with numerous pieces of state legislature that limited the consumption of video games. However the effectiveness of the ESA has been questioned on numerous occasions. To many it was his hands off approach when dealing with anti-video game figures such as Jack Thompson and Leland Yee that caused many to ask whether or not the industry even needed the ESA. However Mr. Lowenstein did create one event that ever gamer, designer, and writer supported, E3. In attempt to make the video game industry prove itself as a growing industry deserving the attention of the mass market Mr. Lowenstein created E3 to excite gamers about what the future would hold in store for video games. In doing so he founded one of the largest (until recent times) and most envied trade events ever organized. It would draw the attention of not only industry veterans, but also numerous burgeoning video game developers and publishers. However the effectiveness of theE3’s ability to promote smaller brands and independent video games projects was criticized as these projects would often times become strangled by the domineering personas of larger projects. While his effectiveness as a trade representative is often questioned, he was able to make many realize that the video game industry was large and rapidly expanding. As a result he convinced many critics that the video game industry would rival that of all other types of media.


-Bjarne Stroustrup-


Mr. Stroustrup thinking of how he could make C++ better than Java.
Bjarne Stroustrup is man who after I inform you as to what he has contributed in his lifetime your response will be “Oh, he made THAT?” So what did Mr. Stroustrup create that makes him an important man to note? C++…Bjarne Stroustrup created C++. For all of those potential video game designers and computer engineers C++ has become your native language of sorts. For the unaware C++ is a programming language that featured many innovations when it was first introduced that allowed programming far easier.  C++ implements "data abstraction" using a concept called "classes", along with other features to allow object-oriented programming. C++ also adds a concept called "operator overloading" not seen in the earlier OOP languages, and it makes the creation of libraries much cleaner and simplifies memory management. Additionally, some of the features of C++ allow low-level access to memory but also contain high level features. For numerous of burgeoning game developers C++ was their first exposure for programming and memory management. For creating a simple and accessible programming language that allowed for a greater number of people to get involved in software and hardware development in the video game industry (and to a greater extent the computer industry)—Bjarne Stroustrup deserves a certain level of thanks.


-Sir Clive Sinclair-


Sir Clive Sinclair with his greatest creation, the ZX Spectrum.
Sir Clive Marles Sinclair has been an iconic and often controversial figure in British industry for more than quarter of a century. He chalked up significant successes early in his life—the first pocket calculator, the first pocket television, and most importantly the best-selling British computer of all time, the ZX Spectrum. The Spectrum is widely and fondly remembered in Britain by those who grew up in the 1980's, and many of the games developed for the system by home programmers paved the way for many of the leading European software houses of today. It also taught a generation the basics of computer science and programming, due to the popularity of "program your own game" articles in Spectrum fan magazines, as well as numerous contests. In addition due to the limited functionality of the basic machine, many users "hacked" their computer to add additional functionality. As a result the ZX Spectrum not only ushered in a new era of game developers but also supported some of the first modders in the computer industry. However Sir Sinclair is as well known for his spectacular successes as he is with his horrendous failures, most notably the C5 electric vehicle. He was lauded (and eventually awarded a knighthood) by Margaret Thatcher's government for leading what was seen as a renaissance of British industry, but was seen in other quarters as offering only skin-deep solutions to Britain's industrial malaise. Now in his sixties, Sir Clive still continues to produce a variety of innovative products from his London headquarters.


-Robert Noyce-

The Aptly Titled "Mayor of Silicon Valley"
While most of his innovations where never directly tied to video games or their consoles, if it had not been for two of Mr. Noyce’s projects the development of video game technology would have been greatly stifled. Look at the computer you are using right now and ask yourself who made it possible for it to process everything you want it to. If you don’t know the answer then now you do. Your laptop or desktop computer, video game console, and thousands of other computing devices all depend on the integrated circuit that Robert Noyce co-invented. That’s right Robert Noyce invented the first practical microchip…and if you don’t know how important that is for computer and console gaming then half of your brain must be missing. Robert Noyce did all this while he was Fairchild Semiconductors, a corporation that Mr. Noyce helped found. For those that remember the Fairchild name what happens next is clear. Noyce oversaw the development of the Fairchild Video Entertainment System; latter called the more iconic Fairchild Channel F. The console used Noyce’s Fairchild F8 CPU, and as a result was capable of being a programmable video game system. With the Channel F, video gamers for the first time were required to insert a ROM cartridges in order play their video games. This was a large improvement over the game dedicated console that had come before the Channel F. As a result of the Channel F, the ROM cartridge was established as the main form of data storage for video games until the advent of the CD-ROM. However Mr. Noyce would leave Fairchild Semiconductors to found another pioneer of computer and console development—Intel, where he he oversaw Ted Hoff's invention of the microprocessor. Which if you also don’t understand how important this is for computer and console development you must be missing half of your brain. A constant innovator, Robert Noyce continued to participate in championing the computer sciences until his untimely death due to a heart attack on June 3, 1990.

Moderator Online
Posted by Chaser324

These dudes all deserve to have wiki pages. Stroustrup is simultaneously both my hero and the bane of my existence.

Moderator Online
Posted by natetodamax

I think they deserve to have pages, but it wouldn't fit in with GB's policy.

Posted by ZombiePie
@Chaser324: Oh hey you're that guy making the Ice Cube game, so I guess you're using C++ then.
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Posted by Chaser324
@ZombiePie: Actually I'm making it in flash so I'm using Actionscript 3.0. C++ is probably the language that I've used the most though.
Moderator Online
Edited by StarFoxA
Posted by ZombiePie
@StarFoxA: One step ahead of you I can confirm that that is not the same Bjarne as the one on my blog. On his personal website he talks about how his name is common and as a result he has had impostors take interviews for him, though I'm not confirming whether or not the one on New Tetris is an imposter.
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Posted by The_Dude

+1 for letting giantbomb have people wiki pages, as long as it does not get out of hand.

Posted by StarFoxA
@ZombiePie: Curses, you win this time.
Posted by ZombiePie
@The_Dude: Ehhh, doing that has a lot of room for problems. I think the policy is fine where it stands but we need to recognize that it's not the whole picture. Anyways as long as I can keep finding people who don't qualify GB's rules but are important nonetheless I'll keep on making these blogs
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Posted by buzz_clik

On the British Computing Entrepreneur tip, you could also have one for Sir Alan Sugar as well. I'd argue that he's not as important as Sir Clive, but still probably worth a mention.

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Posted by ZombiePie
@buzz_clik: Hey I'm open to suggestions. It's just I have to be sure they haven't been credited in any games, you'd be surprise as to how many important people have at least one or two video game credits. But yeah I definitely do my research for Sir Alan Sugar.
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