Nolan Bushnell Dislikes Online Gaming

Nolan Bushnell Dislikes Online Gaming

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In a BAFTA Q&A session, the Pongfather dismissed online gaming as "not cool."

During the session held in London to promote Bushnell's upcoming uWink concept, someone asked the Atari founder what he thought about network gaming and its potential. Bushnell pooh-poohed the concept, describing it as "stilted and flat," and maintained that true social gaming required face-to-face contact, playing against another person in the same room as you.

"Social is buying someone a drink," Bushnell argued. "Sitting in a dark room in your underpants talking to thousands of people might seem social, but it's not cool. The public space is always going to be here."

Bushnell compared gaming to alcohol, saying that the reason a martini cost more at a bar than to make it oneself was because there were actual people at a bar. Of course, Bushnell neglected to mention that a martini also costs more at a bar because the bar has overhead expenses - lighting bills, wages to pay - that it needs to recoup.

uWink, Bushnell's latest venture, is effectively a cross between a restaurant and an arcade, where people can play games at interactive stations at tables - all the while enjoying a tasty meal. It's no wonder, then, that the gaming pioneer is trying to criticize what could be a potentially huge threat to said venture: Gamers can play each other without leaving their rooms if they choose.

Sure, the man might have a BAFTA Fellowship, but he's wrong about one thing at least - sometimes, I don't even wear pants while gaming online.

(Via Eurogamer)

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uWink, Bushnell's latest venture, is effectively a cross between a restaurant and an arcade, where people can play games at interactive stations at tables - all the while enjoying a tasty meal. It's no wonder, then, that the gaming pioneer is trying to criticize what could be a potentially huge threat to said venture: Gamers can play each other without leaving their rooms if they choose.

Damn! Someone stole my idea.

And thats why theres LAN houses....

while i love online gaming for what it is, and the way it creates challenge via competition, i think Nolan's idea has a future with the mainstream public. while arcades are dead, there is still an opportunity to create interactive experiences in a social setting. granted, people aren't going to be playing Call of Duty at the bar, but that's not the crowd he's targeting. Those touch-screen bar games and Golden Tee cabinets are big money makers and Bushnell is trying to take the expriences in that setting to the next level. i applaud his approach and the boldness with which he's ignoring the hardcore gaming public.

CantFaketheFunk:
Bushnell compared gaming to alcohol, saying that the reason a martini cost more at a bar than to make it oneself was because there were actual people at a bar. Of course, Bushnell neglected to mention that a martini also costs more at a bar because the bar has overhead expenses - lighting bills, wages to pay - that it needs to recoup.

The point is that people come to bars for the social aspect, so you can charge a high price for a drink. He didn't neglect anything - it's obvious why a martini has to cost more at a bar. I think the point he's making is true, but not necessarily applicable to anything in reality, aside from maybe uWink.

It's no wonder, then, that the gaming pioneer is trying to criticize what could be a potentially huge threat to said venture: Gamers can play each other without leaving their rooms if they choose.

He's not TRYING to criticize it; he is criticize it. What he's trying to do is generate discussion, and perhaps appeal for his venture; online gaming isn't a threat, and it's not anywhere near the same market. There's a different point to online gaming entirely. If what he said was for the sake of uWink, I don't think he's trying to dissuade people from gaming online, so much as he is trying to generate interest in social gaming.

Sure, the man might have a BAFTA Fellowship, but he's wrong about one thing at least - sometimes, I don't even wear pants while gaming online.

He said underpants. You play online games in the buff?

Getting someone as crazy as me in the same room is hard, that's why I never got into table top gaming.

I can understand Nolan Bushnell's point (as social gaming face to face is the original way it was and will always have a place in my heart)However, in today's age where people are spread out and the technology is available, online gaming is a great thing to have.

However, I am interested in this uWink thing...I'd go if I could find one.

He said underpants. You play online games in the buff?

Sometimes. About to start an Ulduar raid wearing just a bathrobe.

I just don't play online games anymore.

Used to when I was younger, but I guess it lost the appeal for me, not sure why.

Bushnell hasn't mattered in about 20 years.

He continues this record today.

MMOs (in so far as sitting alone playing games, usually with e-friends)= Not cool.

Taking the convention concept and making a resteraunt out of it = Also not cool.

Good God man, gaming has never been cool, ever. Enjoyable, occasionally sociable, engrossing, but never a trend setter or paradigm lifestlye. Wake up and realise that alienating MMOs might be the stupidest thing this business could do, either distancing people who might make/sell games to him, or removing the possibility of live MMOs in the resteraunt, maybe more along the lines on social/instant action rather than RPG...

Commander Breetai:
Bushnell hasn't mattered in about 20 years.

He continues this record today.

He's an inspiration to us all.

I'm curious what uWinks food is like.

TsunamiWombat:

Commander Breetai:
Bushnell hasn't mattered in about 20 years.

He continues this record today.

He's an inspiration to us all.

I'm curious what uWinks food is like.

The last thing he did that mattered was creating Atari. You know, before getting kicked out of his own company, that is.

Gaming in the same room as people often doesn't help for me...
I went to an all nighter at an internet cafe with just friends for the night, they almost killed me when i beat em at every game.

 

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