One cool guy.

It's been 25 years since Super Mario Bros. hit the world of gaming, and its influence is still felt widely around the world. Konami legend and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is just one individual whose life was altered by the plumbing adventure.

Kojima has said:

With the creation of Super Mario Bros., Shigeru Miyamoto not only altered the future of gaming, but actually changed the concept of "value" for all forms of entertainment. And, in the process, changed my future - leading me to become the game designer I am today. Super Mario Bros. is equivalent to the Big Bang of our gaming universe. If it were not for this blindingly spectacular creation, digital entertainment as we know it today wouldn't exist.

High praise indeed, considering Kojima is a highly respected and influential designer in his own right. It seems Mario's influence runs right through the gaming industry, from creators to players.