If you were to pick the most influential New Media players of this year, who would they be?
If the answer was "Harmonix founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy," you would be right, according to USA Network's 2010 selection for their "Character Approved" awards. The award, which is designed to honor those making positive changes in American culture, was granted to Rigopulos and Egozy for their work with the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series.
"Character Approved is a celebration of the real Characters making an impact on our culture today. Our honorees are all at the top of their game, and we're thrilled to shine a light on their unique accomplishments," USA executive vice president, marketing, digital and brand strategy Chris McCumber said.
According to USA, "Rigopulos and Egozy's potent combination of musical training and advanced technical skill-combined with a healthy dose of innovation-has fueled explosive growth in the category of music games and earned the two a place on Time Magazine's 2008 list of the 100 most influential people in the world."
Rigopulos and Egozy share the stage with Jimmy Wales, the creator of Wikipedia and first recipient of the award for the New Media category. The awards began in 2009, honoring seven recipients under the categories of Giving, Food, Architecture, New Media/Technology, Music, Fashion, and Art. The list was expanded to 10 this year, with the addition of the Writing, Film/TV, and Design categories.