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Atari at 50

Nice interview in HowToGeek with Atari founder, and Grand High Dad of video games, Nolan Bushnell. In it, he makes this neat observation on modern gameplay:

Benj Edwards, How-To Geek: Do you think the video game industry has lost sight of any innovations from the early days of Atari?

Nolan Bushnell: A little bit. Remember that Atari was founded as a coin-op company. And coin-op has this requirement that a newbie has to get into the game almost instantly without reading instructions. So the simplicity of onboarding is lost by a lot of people right now.

Anyway, give it a read. I interviewed Bushnell once. Lovely man. Back in the days when I had to shoot my own video for the BBC, I asked him to “say a few words” for a sound levels check. Ignoring my standard issue “what did you have for breakfast?” prompt, he opted to instead recite the Jabberwocky, at a theatrical, leisurely pace. All fun and games until the PR rep popped her head around the corner to utter those horrible words: “About five minutes or so left guys.”

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