Time's latest issue is its "Time 100" in which they name the most influential people in the world, for this year anyway. Rockstar rockstars Dan and Sam Houser are in the "artists and entertainers" category.
I couldn't tell if Sam and Dan together count as one influential person, or if they took two whole spots on the list. But this is their write-up, penned by Matt Selman, the executive producer of "The Simpsons." He portrays the Housers as social commentators whose work is, for its time, as meaningful as Dickens.
But what makes the Housers' creation unparalleled is that their games have a take on American cultural history. A smart take. A take that solidifies the culture's vision of its recent past. Was it a prominent film or book or record that defined how we look back on gang-era Los Angeles? No, it was a video game that uses movies, music and writing to a greater effect. Who better summarized and satirized the drug-dealing Miami of the '80s? Or the New York City of now? The Housers are doing the work of Tom Wolfe, creating tapestries of modern times as detailed as those of Balzac or Dickens.
Next week: Time publishes 100 letters from gamers who wonder if they're the only ones who thought Grand Theft Auto IV was overrated.
Sam and Dan Houser - The 2009 Time 100 [Time, also Time illustration. Thanks Mike M.]