The T3 Awards are all about the highlighting the very best things in tech - and sometimes those things, like Soylent Green, are people. Last year we gave Oculus VR creator Palmer Luckey a well-deserved gong - but who else has a coveted T3 trophy on their mantelpiece, and what on Earth do Mark Zuckerberg and Jason Bradbury have in common? Let’s find out.
2008: Shigeru Miyamoto
The first recipient of our Tech Legend award is responsible for more joy on Earth than cute kittens, chocolate and hosts of angels combined: Miyamoto helped create Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Star Fox, Pikmin, F-Zero and Wii titles - a portfolio that includes some of the best, most successful and most loved video games of all time. For just one of those achievements “the Spielberg of videogames” would deserve to be carried around the world on a golden throne; for all of them there aren’t enough trophies in the world. What makes Miyamoto so interesting is the way he works: rather than focus-grouping ideas to death, a tactic employed to produce many successful but unlovable triple-A titles, Miyamoto goes with his gut and makes the games he’d like to play. As it turns out, Miyamoto’s gut has excellent taste in games.
2011: Mark Zuckerberg
From the ridiculous to the… what? We’re not entirely sure: while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s influence on tech is undeniably massive, we’re not sure it’s entirely positive and we’re not entirely sure he has much of a personality either. But five years on from his T3 win and Zuckerberg is more important than ever, with Facebook aiming to bring free internet to developing countries while in the West it gains ever more features - it’s acquired the likes of Instagram and Oculus VR - and aims to become ever more central to our everyday lives both in the real world and in VR. A sign of Facebook’s power: when it said it was going to crack down on clickbait articles this year (you know the kind: “They laughed at a horse. What happened next will shock you”), many online publishers had heart attacks as they imagined their businesses drying up. Whatever the future holds, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most important people shaping it.
2012: Rory Cellan-Jones
Many of our winners have been the explainers of technology rather than the creators of it - Stephen Fry in 2009, Suzi Perry in 2010, Jason Bradbury in 2013 - and there are few better explainers than the BBC’s tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. He’s had a long and distinguished journalism career covering the worlds of economics and business, and since 2007 he’s been the person BBC viewers turn to to make sense of the often confusing world of technology. That’s because Jones isn’t interested in technology as an end in itself; he’s interested in how it can make our lives better, more interesting or more fun.
2014: Richard Ayoade
The multi-talented writer, director and actor Ayoade said in 2008 that “I don’t know anything about computers. I resisted getting the internet for a long time.” He must have been a quick learner, because these days he’s the face of Gadget Man, a rare example of a tech programme that’s both interesting and funny. For many of us our love for Ayoade isn’t because of Gadget Man, though. It’s because he played the role of Moss in The IT Crowd. That’s partly because he’s very, very funny, and partly because every tech fan can see a little of themselves in him. All together now: “I like your glasses.” “They’re not for sale.”
Remember, the T3 Awards 2016 are imminent, so to vote for your favourite tech of the year and stand a chance of winning a brand new Apple MacBook, then head over to the voting page now.