Bushnell Bashes Modern Games

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Nolan Bushnell, the father of Atari, talks about developing fun titles and traveling the entrepreneurial route.

During an interview with Electronic Design, Atari and Chuck E’ Cheese founder Nolan Bushnell talked a length about the lack of fun and socializing in modern games. “Videogames today are a race to the bottom. They are pure, unadulterated trash and I’m sad for that,” said Bushnell.

His daughter Alissa created Truth or Dare, a casual game for her father’s interactive uWink restaurants. Bushnell said, “It’s not really a game per se, but provides an experience where people have fun, do something a little embarrassing, but have a really good time doing it.”

He continued, “Social games represent something that has been missing. Most of the board games are purchased by women for families. It is this gaming world that can be re-energized. We used to have families sit down and play a game together. A lot of videogames today are very isolated. You don’t see mom and dad, sister and brother, sitting down like they used to play, say, Monopoly. That represented good mentoring time for families that just isn’t happening now.”

When pressed, Bushnell divulged his favorite game. “My personal favorite is Breakout. It is one of the games that everyone loved. It was very satisfying to play. It was like breaking down walls. And it was a metaphor. The world is better when you break down walls. Walls separate people. The more inclusive we can be, the better we can be as a species.”

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