Today is a bit a mouthful “Share whose inspiring gaming excellence you’re grateful for.”
REALLY ODD PHRASING aside, I’m going to answer this by calling out two folks: Matt Harrop and Aaron Rosenberg.
Aside from the fact that they definitely qualify under the “gaming excellent” measurement (I can’t forget Ghrezdd the Wizard or a Vampire on Roller Blades), the simple fact of the matter is that I would not have the career that I have, had the two of them not encouraged and collaborated with me to produce our first RPG in 1993: Periphery.
Everything I’ve done professionally for the past 25 years is all their fault. :)
Over the past year is when game streams finally clicked for me. I’d been aware of Critical Role, but I’d never watched it. Then I started watching Geek & Sundry’s SHIELD OF TOMORROW from the first episode, and it hooked me, all the way to the end — 50 episodes later (52 if you count a side-game and a Q&A). Funny thing is, at 3 hours of play per episode, that comes to 150 hours of Trek content, which turns out to make it (unofficially, obviously) the longest Trek series ever — beating out The Next Generation plus the TNG movies, which tops out at 143 hours.
Any way — the show streamed on Twitch… but Geek & Sundry has been putting the older episodes up on Youtube. They’re up to episode 31 at the time of this writing.
Here’s the first episode in the series playlist, featuring the set and the costumes… but a few episodes later, they actually even add a title sequence!