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The Times They Are A'Changin' - An Interview with Nolan Bushnell

++Good Games talks candidly with one of the gaming industry’s founding fathers — Nolan Bushnell. In this episode, Nolan Bushnell discusses everything from hiring Jobs and Wozniak to the difficulties that lie in store for the next ten Xbox and PS4. This is an interview spans four decades and covers the games industry’s past, present and future.

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NukaCola1155d ago

This guy is a good example of a genius gaming pioneer turned idiot. Such a shame.

DoublePlusGoodGames1155d ago

We had seen a bunch of news surrounding him prior to having him on the show and were worried about the same thing. Turns out he's completely down to earth and helped clarify his recent comments/quotes about the console industry.

He's a big proponent about spending money and innovating and berates companies like Apple/Nintendo for SKU proliferation and sitting on their hands a top a pile of cash. If you had time to listen to the show and let us know if you feel the same.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of the NukaCola product and have some in the fridge in case of an nuclear apocalypse.

cleft51155d ago

He never pioneered anything, do a little research and you will see that he stole Ralph Baer idea.

DoublePlusGoodGames1155d ago

Well, there is some conjecture to if it was copied first by Al Alcorn (Atari) or Ralph Baer (Magnavox) in the 70's, but the idea for Pong pre-dates both men by more than 20 years. He did, however, pioneer the mass market, cartridge based home console business.

miyamoto1155d ago (Edited 1155d ago )

Yeah 'The Times They Are A'Changin'

but Nolan 'What Has He Done Lately?' Bushnell is stuck in the 60's mentality while his co-Atari contemporary, Mark 'Game Changer' Cerny, continues to evolved into real time 'Gaming God' status.

DoublePlusGoodGames1155d ago

I think both men have their respective places in this industry's lore but for entirely different reasons.

Mark Cerny is absolutely awesome and an undeniable genius. He joined Atari at 18 years of age (four years after Bushnell was squeezed out by Warner) and went on to Sega of Japan (and US) to work on titles like Sonic the Hedgehog. No doubt the Cerny will be lauded for years to come both inside and outside gaming development.

Again, Bushnell is a businessman and entrepreneur. He's certainly not a game creator but he's definitely a visionary and evangelist for the medium of gaming.

Dlacy13g1155d ago (Edited 1155d ago )

While I have huge respect for him, he clearly is not in touch with todays gaming industry.

@DoublePlusGoodGames, while that is nice to hear your side I have too often heard him say things publically that just don't seem like he really gets todays gamer.

DoublePlusGoodGames1155d ago

There is no doubt he is out of touch with the games industry of today as it is a far cry from the wild west of the 1970's. At his core, Nolan is an entrepreneur and he's always looking for innovation and 'gaps' (which he actually mentions in the interview).

After talking with him, I do believe he is often mis-quoted and many gaming media outlets as try to shoehorn his observations into bias or fanboyism. For example, last week's "Microsoft will win the console war" article was entirely taken out of context as, based on our interview, he doesn't think that Microsoft will win or that Sony will win.

He's definitely a relic of a time gone by in gaming and that's kind of a shame. It would be interesting to see what would happen with games if innovation and creativity were championed over 'millions-and-millions' ; sold.

MyNutsYourChin1155d ago

He's not one of the industry's founding fathers. That statement is an insult to gaming and gamers everywhere. If anything, he's an investor and one of the original investors of the technology but definitely NOT a founding father. Stop calling him that.

DoublePlusGoodGames1155d ago

Wait, why is it an insult? Without his ability to generate revenue and build the business leveraging large companies like Sears and Nutting there's a high probability that gaming wouldn't exist like it does today.

Programmers are certainly artists, but artists generally don't have the business savvy of a Steve Jobs, Trip Hawkins or Nolan Bushnell.

He took a chance on technology that payed massive dividends and begat companies like Activision, EA, Imagic and gave birth to an industry that simply didn't exist. He ABSOLUTELY is a founding father and even if he only knew one line of basic and couldn't piece together a pixel of graphics, he has certainly earned that moniker.

MyNutsYourChin1155d ago

No, no. I disagree. He was only in the right place at the right time. Stealing ideas does not constitute praise as a "founding father". He's first and foremost a business man, not a gamer nor a pioneer of gaming.

cleft51155d ago

For the uninformed, Ralph H. Baer, is the true founding father of the video game industry. Nolan Bushnell is an opportunistic "person" that stole Ralph Baer pattens. He didn't found anything. I encourage you all to google it and you will see that not only did he not invent anything, he was sued for stealing Mr. Baer's invention. He lost that lawsuit and had to pay out a bunch of money.

Don't take my word for it, please google and enlightening yourself to the truth.

MyNutsYourChin1155d ago

Indeed. Those morons who disagree are ignorant douchebags.

anthony24bit1155d ago

Ralph H. Baer deserves respect, and I have no argument there. Also, Nolan Bushnell was never credited with being the very first person to ever found or create a video game, by ++Good. Yet, it cannot be denied that he helped found Atari, has a list of accolades (Video Game Hall of Fame, Consumer Electronics HOF etc..). It is valid to consider him a founding father (not the only father, or the first father)...but, he's up there. He was a 'somebody' ~ and to his credit, is still trying new things.

No matter what though, I want to thank those in the comments section for giving this a look, sharing one's opinion and maybe even listening to the show. I always say, 'fans help make us who we are.'

MyNutsYourChin1155d ago

Indeed, he was a somebody who played a pivotal role in gaming, but definitely not a "founding father".