Mental Floss magazine has named Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto as one of nine “New Einsteins” whose genius leads them to accomplish feats beyond imagination.

Miyamoto was recognized for the immense influence his games have had on not just gamers, but on the public in general. “This gentle Japanese artist may have a stronger hold on our culture than any other person alive,” writes Erik Vance.

Videogame fans are certainly used to thinking of Miyamoto as a genius, but take a moment to consider some of the other Einsteins on the list: Bill Unruh, Professor of Theoretical Physics (he studies black holes), Elizabeth Gould, Professor of Psychology (a pioneer in the field of neurogenesis), Dr. Anthony Atala, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (developing methods to regrow human organs), and Jay Keasling, Director of the Physical Biosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (he’s developing bacteria that can cure malaria). Pretty impressive company for a guy who makes videogames.

It’s encouraging to see that someone outside of typical gamer culture understands that changing the way we play – or even just acknowledging the importance that we do – is as significant a human achievement as making a breakthrough in science.

You can find the complete list of New Einsteins in the Nov/Dec issue of Mental Floss.

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