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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Thing With Nolan Bushnell...

Nolan Bushnell, popularly revered as the father of electronic games, is still inventing and dreaming of new ways for people to use technology for fun. In fact, he is forging a different direction from today's shoot 'em up, beat 'em down, tear 'em apart electronic diversions. He sees a generation of video games that foster fun, social interaction, and education.

"Video games today are a race to the bottom. They are pure, unadulterated trash and I'm sad for that," says Bushnell.

To create the shift, Bushnell is taking his experience as an amusement park game barker, inventor of Pong, and founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time restaurants and rolling it all into a new pursuit - uWink. Instead of creating games primarily played by one lone player, or occasionally two players, Bushnell wants to create an environment for families or groups of adults to have fun.

His first step in that direction was the fall 2006 opening of uWink in Woodland Hills, Calif. It is an entertainment dining experience where people can play tabletop games, interact, and enjoy tasty, reasonably priced meals.
-- Nolan Bushnell: Serious Thoughts About Fun And Games

The easy response here is that Nolan has just grown wildly out of touch with modern gaming. I mean, really, uWink's games offering includes a Pong clone, a trivia game and something his daughter thought was cool. We're not exactly talking evolution here.

And the things he hits on as talking points - more positive, social gaming ... is exactly what the Wii has been using for branding since it was named the Wii.

But hey, the guy helped start the gaming industry, so let's just chalk up a generalized quote in a story as just that and let him try and run a business.

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