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Rol, in his thread "The evolution of the console market over time" attempts to frame the history of the console market in a structure that is rigid and brittle. In my response to him, I explained that the market is not formulaic, but an ebb and flow of trends, essentially desires in people to experience certain gaming experiences at a certain point in time in history.

I want to ask you all, who were the trend setters at what time, when was one player playing a more important role than another with what experiences? From the eve of gaming to today.

Let's open it up a bit!

Make a timeline, and talk about who you think played an important role at what time in the industry and with what game/concept/talent. This can range from a brand, to a playstyle, an artist, musician, franchise, dev team, studio, character, hardware design, manager, you name it.