For the third year in a row, Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi has been voted to Motor Trend’s Top 50 power list (which will appear in the next issue of Motor Trend). For those of you with freshly manicured nails and lip balm in your man-tote, it means that he has made the definitive list of the 50 most important people in the business of shaping the next generation of automotive enthusiasts.
The striking part about all of this is that Yamauchi placed ahead of industry luminaries such as Jean Todt, CEO of Ferrari and celebrities such as Jay “Jokes About My Chin Stopped Being Funny A Decade Ago” Leno. If you needed proof of how far the video game industry has come in terms of it’s worldwide recognition, this is it. The next time your mother tells you you’re wasting your life playing games, show her the next issue of Motor Trend, and with a determind look in your eye, take the beating she doles out like the man you truly wish you were.
While “automotive enthusiasts” is a broad range that could include your 16-year-old cousin who keeps trying to hot glue stolen neon signs to the side of his ’88 Celica, it also includes the future engineers and designers that the automotive industry will be shaped by in the coming decades. To be named to this list must be a huge honor for an auto enthusiast like Yamauchi, and if I spoke a word of Japanese, I’d call and congratulate him.