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BBC: Atari founder Nolan Bushnell on why life is 'a game'

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#1 The Professor

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 07:30 PM



"I have made so many massive mistakes of ego, I can't tell you.."



The BBC has a great article up today about Nolan Bushnell. If you like Nolan or are interested in the history of Atari, Chuck E. Cheese, or Silicon Valley, this is an enjoyable read.


Here's one passage from the article:


He chalks the creation of Atari up to a bit of good luck: "I was probably the only electrical engineer that understood television, and understood the coin-operated game business [from the amusement park] in 1969," he says.




By combining the popularity of arcade games as well as the nascent personal computer industry, Mr Bushnell and his partner Ted Dabney found success with games such as Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede, which were played, initially, on the Atari 2600 console.And unlike today's efforts - in which blood and gore in games is both the norm and a scourge - Mr Bushnell said the company believed firmly that it could be successful without resorting to murder.


"We felt that, you could blow up a tank, you could blow up a plane, but we didn't want violence against a human being," he says.





Steve Jobs' handwritten notes for World Cup while at Atari



Some other great quotes from Nolan Bushnell:


"I've always valued passionate employees over anything else, and, it turns out that there's a huge percentage of the population that are actually dead - they don't know it, but, in terms of their processes, they're just waiting to be buried,"


"When I was 35, I was insufferable. I thought I could do no wrong and I got really sloppy,"


"I want Jobs and [Bill] Gates and [Mark] Zuckerberg and all of these guys to thank me for blazing some of [those trails], because it was much easier once there were several notable successes from [people] in their twenties,"




You can see the BBC's article on Nolan Bushnell here: http://www.bbc.com/n...siness-33117769

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#2 AlamoAtari


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Posted 14 October 2015 - 08:21 PM

Wow, he was a bit gruff there. But you look at his site and he still want to evolve the industry still. He sounds like he wants to spark imagination and is heavily involved with his kids. Dynamite!
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#3 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 09:03 AM

I must get around to checking out more of Nolan's interviews etc.


The one thing i always want people to ask him, is about his various failed projects he's either been directly involved in or 'backed' (Commodore CDTV, cheap, consumer Home VR System) and hois quotes on how platform X, Y and Z will fail (and yet they go onto great things).



I'm of the mindset that as long as you phrase a question in a polite manner and make it clear why your asking, you should'nt have to tip toe around the more akward questions in interviews.We are all human, all make errors of judgement, turn our hand to things that for 1 reason or another simply don't work out and looking back at what went wrong and why, is often as good a story as what went right...



Yet too often people just seem to fall under the spell of OMG..HERO....and it's 100% worship time.



If they don't want to talk about it, fine, but at least see if there's a chance.

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#4 The Professor

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:26 PM

I don't think people want to hear about negativity or read about failure. In articles like this he usually acknowledges his failures. People are most interested in Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, or occasionally ETAK.

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#5 Lost Dragon

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 12:50 PM

Maybe it's a media thing then, but news stories are often quick enough to head line and run with Nolan pouring scorn on someone elses prospects and why he thinks they will struggle or fail.


It might just be attention grabbing headlines, in all fairness if they are going to cover his personal viewpoint in such detail, they should really say, ahhh, but Nolan you thought CDTV was going to be huge, you promised us affordable Home VR...so your pretty much at the same mercy the rest of us in terms of predicting how things will turnout.

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