In a surprising decision, Ken Levine was selected for TIME magazine's Top 100 Influential People list for 2012. Levine, the creative director for Irrational Games, is known for his work on Thief, System Shock and of course, BioShock. If you're interested in voting for Levine, you can view TIME's poll here.
As far as gaming personalities go, you don't get more passionate and well-spoken than Levine. He's constantly providing interviews, speeches on design, panel discussions and is otherwise available on Twitter. He's personable and a likeable guy, but is he one of the most influential people in gaming and on the planet?
TIME's profile for Ken Levine is almost entirely about the original BioShock, a game made in 2007. There's no argument that BioShock may be one of the most influential games ever, but does that justify Levine's inclusion in this list five years later? Does it extend to the fact that another BioShock game will be released this year? If it reviews poorly does Levine get removed?
Ken Levine is an amazing individual and he's important to our industry, but I'm not sure TIME truly understands it. Without some analysis into TIME's decision making process, it's hard to tell whether this is just the magazine throwing gamers a bone to get more readers or they truly believe Levine has a striking influence on the gaming industry, let alone the world.