Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell 2013.jpg
Bushnell in 2013
BornNolan Kay Bushnell
(1943-02-05) February 5, 1943 (age 74)
Clearfield, Utah
ResidenceSouthern California
CitizenshipUnited States
FieldsElectrical Engineering
Computer software
Chuck E. Cheese's
Alma materUniversity of Utah
Stanford Business School
Known forPong
Notable awardsVideo Game Hall of Fame
Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame


Nolan Kay Bushnell (given birth to Feb 5, 1943) can be an American electrical engineer and businessman. He set up Atari, Inc. as well as the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Period Theatre string. Bushnell continues to be inducted in to the GAMING Hall of Popularity and the buyer Consumer electronics Association Hall of Popularity, received the BAFTA Fellowship as well as the Countries Restaurant Information “Innovator from the Calendar year” prize, and was called among Newsweek’s “50 Guys Who Transformed America.” Bushnell provides started a lot more than twenty businesses and is among the founding fathers from the video game sector. He is presently on the plank of Anti-Aging Video games, but his most recent venture can be an educational software program company known as Brainrush that’s using gaming technology in educational software program, incorporating real human brain science, in a manner that Bushnell is convinced will fundamentally transformation education. Nolan, who’s co-founder and chairman of Brainrush, is convinced that Brainrush will end up being his biggest achievement. Nolan is credited with Bushnell’s Laws, an aphorism about video games “easy to understand and difficult to understand” getting rewarding.

Personal life

Bushnell graduated in the College or university of Utah University of Engineering having a level in electrical executive in 1968 after transferring from Utah Condition College or university, and was an associate from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was among the many pc science students from the 1960s who performed the historical Spacewar! video game on December mainframe computer systems. The College or university of Utah was seriously involved in pc graphics analysis and spawned a multitude of Spacewar versions.Bushnell worked in Lagoon Amusement Recreation area for quite some time in senior high school and university while surviving in his hometown of Ogden, Utah. He was especially thinking about the midway arcade video games, where theme recreation area customers would need to make use of skill and good luck to attain the objective and earn the award. He liked the idea of obtaining people interested in the overall game and following that obtaining them to spend the fee to be able to play. He'd make use of his like for video games and theme parks to greatly help start both Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters.Bushnell's first relationship was to Paula Rochelle Nielson with whom he provides 2 kids. Bushnell's oldest kid, Alissa, caused him at uWink. His second relationship was to Nancy with whom he provides 6 kids. Bushnell grew up in The Cathedral of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but is normally no longer a dynamic member. A 1999 Period article defined him being a "lapsed Mormon" and defined him cigarette smoking a tube, which is normally inconsistent using the LDS Church's wellness practice of the term of Wisdom.After offering Atari to Warner Communications for $28 million, Bushnell purchased the former mansion of coffee magnate James Folger in Woodside, California, which he distributed to his wife Nancy and their eight children. The Bushnells today reside in Southern California.In June 2008 it had been announced that Leonardo DiCaprio would portray Bushnell in the film Atari, an adaptation of Bushnell's life tale.On the British Academy VIDEO GAMING Awards on March 10, 2009, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awarded the Academy Fellowship to Bushnell in recognition of his outstanding achievement being a founding father from the video gaming industry.Bushnell was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured aswell as Atari: Video game Over.

Business career


In 1969, Bushnell and colleague Ted Dabney formed Syzygy using the intention of creating a Spacewar clone referred to as Pc Space.To keep the business alive as the machine had been prototyped, both took on the route servicing damaged pinball machines. Dabney constructed the prototype and Bushnell shopped it around, buying manufacturer. They produced an contract with Nutting Affiliates, a manufacturer of coin-op trivia and capturing games, who created a fiberglass cupboard for the machine that included a coin-slot system.Pc Space was a business failure, though product sales exceeded $3 mil. Bushnell experienced that Nutting Affiliates had not promoted the overall game well, and determined that his following game will be certified to a larger manufacturer.

Atari, Inc.

In 1972, Bushnell and Dabney tripped independently, and found that the name "Syzygy" was used; Bushnell has stated at differing times that it had been in use with a candlestick company owned with a Mendocino hippie commune and by a roofer company. They rather incorporated beneath the name Atari, a mention of a check-like placement in the overall game Proceed (which Bushnell offers known as his "preferred game ever"). They rented their 1st workplace on Scott Boulevard in Sunnyvale, California, contracted with Bally Production to make a traveling game, and employed their second worker, engineer Allan Alcorn. Bushnell later on bought out Dabney, who was simply pressured out after Nolan informed him he'd transfer all of the assets to some other corporation and keep Ted with nothing at all.After Bushnell attended a Burlingame, California demonstration from the Magnavox Odyssey, he gave the duty of earning the Magnavox tennis video game right into a coin-op version to Alcorn like a test project. He informed Alcorn that he was producing the overall game for General Electric powered, however Bushnell prepared to throw the overall game aside. Alcorn incorporated a lot of his personal improvements in to the video game design, like the ball accelerating the longer the overall game continued, and Pong was created. Pong became extremely popular; Atari released a lot of Pong-based arcade video games over another couple of years as the mainstay of the business.In 1974, Atari entered the buyer electronics marketplace after technical engineers Harold Lee and Bob Dark brown approached Alcorn with a concept to build up a house version of Pong. Having a advertising and distribution contract with Sears, Pong product sales soared when the machine premiered in 1975.Using lent parts from Atari, getting the main PCB printed up by Atari worker Howard Cantin, and getting further the help of Atari worker Ron Wayne, two nonemployees, Steve Careers and Steve Wozniak—both of whom got previously been mixed up in development of the Atari arcade video game Breakout—developed and marketed their own house computer. They provided the look to Bushnell, but Atari got no wish to build computer systems at that time, instead concentrating on the arcade and house console markets.In 1976 Steve Careers visited Nolan to get him to set up some money in trade for a collateral stake in Apple. Nolan remarked, "Steve asked me easily would place $50,000 in and he'd give me another of the business. I used to be so sensible, I stated no. It's sort of fun to take into account that, when I'm not really crying."By 1976 Atari was amid developing the Atari VCS (Video Pc System, afterwards renamed the Atari 2600), but Bushnell realized that if the business would grow, it needed capital, and with the currency markets within a bleak condition, going community wouldn't normally be the answer. He made a summary of businesses to method of buy Atari. On the other hand, Steve Ross, CEO of Warner Marketing communications, pointed out that his kids had been hovering around gaming cupboards at Walt Disney Globe. Warner Marketing communications was approached about Atari by among its investors to go over purchasing the business. For $28 million, Warner Marketing communications (now Period Warner) bought Atari, getting the administrative centre they necessary for the VCS release, which occurred in August 1977.In November 1978, Bushnell was forced from the company after a dispute with Warner over its long term direction, notably for the lifespan from the Atari 2600 and their shut software strategy, that was later on changed for the brand new family computer division.By 1982, Atari had US$1.3 billion in annual product sales and was the fastest-growing company in the annals of American business. By 1984, the business got crashed and was put into three items to be offered off. The coin-op department became Atari Video games. The Consumer department was offered to Jack port Tramiel, who folded it into his Tramel Technology, Ltd., that was after that renamed Atari Company. The budding Ataritel department was offered to Mitsubishi Electric powered.

Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre

In 1977, while at Atari, Bushnell purchased Pizza Period Theatre back from Warner Marketing communications. It turned out developed by Bushnell, originally as a location where children could move and consume pizza and enjoy video gaming, which would as a result work as a distribution route for Atari video games. Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Period Theatre also got animatronic pets that performed music as entertainment. It really is known that Bushnell got always wished to function for Walt Disney, but was constantly rejected for work when he was initially getting started after graduation; Chuck E. Cheese's was his homage to Disney as well as the technology created there. In 1981 Bushnell converted over day-to-day meals functions of Chuck E. Mozzarella cheese’s to a recently hired restaurant professional and centered on Catalyst Technologies.Coming from 1981 and 1982, Bushnell focused in PTT subsidiaries Sente Technology and Kadabrascope. Sente was a reentry in to the coin-operated video game business. Arcade cupboards could have a proprietary program and a cartridge slot machine produced by Data East Company, so providers could refresh their video games and never have to buy totally new cupboards. Kadabrascope was an early on attempt at pc assisted computer animation. In 1983 simply because the restaurants began to lose cash, Sente, though lucrative, was offered to Bally for $3.9 million and Kadabrascope was sold to Lucas which became the beginnings of what became Pixar.During this time period Bushnell was using large loans on his Pizza Time period stock to invest in Catalyst. By the finish of 1983, Chuck E. Parmesan cheese was having severe financial complications. Chief executive and long-time friend Joe Keenan resigned that fall. Nolan attempted to step back, blaming the amount of money complications on over-expansion, an excessive amount of tweaking from the method and saturation in regional markets from the administration group. He resigned in Feb 1984, when the Table of Directors declined his proposed adjustments. Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Period Theaters (right now named following its popular mouse mascot) joined bankruptcy in nov 1984.ShowBiz Pizza Place, a competing Pizza/Arcade family members cafe, then purchased Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Period Theater and assumed its personal debt. The newly created organization, ShowBiz Pizza Period, managed restaurants under both brands before unifying all places beneath the Chuck E. Cheese's brand by 1992. Today over 500 places of this cafe are running a business.

Catalyst Technologies Venture Capital Group

Bushnell founded Catalyst Technology, among the first business incubators. The Catalyst Group businesses included Androbot, Etak, Cumma, and Axlon.Axlon launched many customer and customer electronic items successfully, especially AG Keep, a keep that mumbled/echoed a child's phrases back again to him/her. In the past due 1980s, Axlon maintained the introduction of two brand-new video games for the Atari 2600, probably within a marketing try to revive product sales of the machine, already greater than a 10 years old. The business was largely marketed to Hasbro.Etak, founded in 1984, was the initial business to digitize the maps from the world, within the initial business automotive navigation program; the maps eventually supplied the backbone for Google maps,, and other satnav systems; it was marketed to Rupert Murdoch in the 1980s. IN-MAY 2000 the business, headquartered in Menlo Recreation area, California, became a wholly possessed subsidiary of Tele Atlas.


In the mid '90s Nolan Bushnell became senior consultant to the tiny game developer Aristo International after it bought Borta, Inc. where he was Chairman. Aristo's CEO and Chairman was Mouli Cohen. Aristo was later on renamed PlayNet. Borta Inc. Developed video gaming that included variations of Urban Hit and Jungle Hit along with on-line Sports Video games. Aristo created two main items: a touchscreen user interface bar-top/arcade system that could also provide access to the internet, calls, and on-line networked competitions; and an electronic jukebox, with the capacity of storing a large number of tunes and downloading fresh releases. The business died shortly prior to the dot-com bubble burst using its prototype devices still in advancement in 1997.


Before BrainRush, Bushnell's latest company was uWink, an organization that evolved out of an early on project called In10City (pronounced 'Strength') that was a concept of the entertainment complex and dining experience. uWink was began by Bushnell and his business adviser Loni Reeder, who also designed the initial logo for the business. The company has truly gone through many failed iterations including a touch-screen kiosk style, a company to perform cash and reward awards within their uWin concept and in addition an internet Entertainment Systems network. After almost 7 years and over $24 million in trader funding, the touch screen kiosks/bartop model was shut amid issues of unpaid awards and insufficient maintaining service contracts with places to keep carefully the kiosk/bartop devices in operating condition. The most recent iteration (announced in 2005) is definitely a fresh interactive entertainment cafe known as the uWink Press Bistro, whose concept develops off his Chuck E. Parmesan cheese venture and earlier 1988–1989 opportunity Bots Inc., which created related systems of customer-side point-of-sale touch-screen terminals furthermore to autonomous pizza delivery robots for Small Caesar's Pizza. The program was for guests to purchase their meals and beverages using displays at each desk, on which they could also play video games with one another and watch film trailers and brief video clips. The multiplayer network type video gaming that allowed desk to table connection or despite having table group perform never materialized. Visitor often noticed the OSX centered machine being continuously re-booted to be able to play easier casual video gaming. The 1st Bistro opened up in Woodland Hillsides, California on Oct 16, 2006. Another in Hollywood was founded, and in 2008 the business opened another Southern California cafe and one in Hill Look at, California, in Silicon Valley. All of the restaurants possess since closed.

Atari, SA

On Apr 19, 2010 Atari announced Nolan Bushnell along with Tim Virden would join the business's Panel of Directors.

Modal VR

Bushnell can be among the founders of Modal VR an organization that develops a lightweight large-scale VR program for enterprises to teach e.g. protection forces.

Anti-Aging Games, LLC

Nolan is in the advisory table of, featuring online memory space, concentration, and concentrate video games for healthy people over 35.


Bushnell's latest company is certainly BrainRush, an organization that uses gaming technology in educational software program where he's Creator, CEO and Chairman. The business was capital raising funded in 2012. It really is based on the theory that lots of curriculum lessons could be converted into mini-games. Programmers may take any body of understanding from English vocabulary arts to spanish, geography, multiplication desk or chemistry dining tables, to elements of our body and gamify the knowledge. BrainRush phone calls their root technology "Adaptive Practice." They also have created an open-authoring program enabling users to quickly make games in various topic areas.Between 2010 and 2012, BrainRush ran a test in Spanish vocabulary vocabulary learning with over 2200 teachers and 80,000 learners in the united states and got a rise in learning swiftness of between 8–10 moments traditional learning. BrainRush rolled out the entire platform in nov 2013.

Other ventures

In 1981, Bushnell created the TimberTech Computer Camp in Scotts Valley, California. In 1982, Bushnell commissioned 'Charley', a 67 feet racing yacht created by Ron Holland. 'Charley' continued to win Collection Honours in the 1983 TransPacific Yacht Competition. In 1984, Bushnell bought the arcade video game organization Videa and renamed it Sente Video games. Among the video games developed by the business before its close in 1987 included the hockey gaming Hat Technique. In 1991, Bushnell endorsed the Commodore International CDTV, a CD-ROM-based edition from the Amiga 500 pc repackaged for the buyer electronics marketplace. In Summer time 1995 Bushnell announced a fresh line of enjoyment centers known as E2000, which will be much like Chuck E. Cheese's but predicated on a gaming theme. Nevertheless, an unrelated multimillion-dollar lawsuit submitted against Bushnell by Merrill Lynch prompted the majority of E2000's traders to back again out, departing him struggling to account the task. In June 1999, Bushnell became a member of the Table of directors of Influx Systems Corp. In 2005, he offered like a judge on the united states Network fact series Manufactured in the united states. In 2007, Bushnell became a member of the table of NeoEdge Systems as Chairman. In 2007, Bushnell became a member of the advisory table of GAMEWAGER. In 2008, Bushnell joined up with AirPatrol Corporation's Table of Directors. In '09 2009, Bushnell announced his purpose to move in to the game-education marketplace with a endeavor known as Snap. He also announced that he'd make an appearance at SGC, a video gaming convention structured by ScrewAttack. In 2014, he made an appearance in the documentary Atari: Video game Over. IN-MAY 2016, Bushnell became a member of the table of directors of MGT Capitol Opportunities. John McAfee, suggested Professional Chairman and CEO of MGT Capital, mentioned, "Nolan is among the brightest thoughts in cyber technology. In his profession, he offers founded a lot more than 20 hi-tech companies, providing him unprecedented understanding of the technology industry. Like a director, he'll help MGT determine and cultivate the required strategic partnerships to put the business as the globe innovator in cyber protection." In January 2017, Bushnell became a member of the table of directors of Perrone Robotics, a manufacturer of robotics software program platforms for autonomous automobiles and cell robots.

Further reading

Atari Inc. - Business is normally Fun, by Curt Vendel, Marty Goldberg (2012) ISBN 0985597402 Zap: The Rise and Fall of Atari, by Scott Cohen (1984) ISBN 0-7388-6883-3 Gambling 101: A Modern History of Personal computer and VIDEO GAMING, by George Jones (2005) ISBN 1-55622-080-4 THE BEST History of VIDEO GAMING: From Pong to Pokémon—The storyplot Behind the Trend That Handled Our Lives and Changed the Globe, by Steven L. Kent (2001) ISBN 0-7615-3643-4 Large Rating!: The Illustrated Background of Electronic Video games, by Rusel DeMaria, Johnny L. Wilson (2003) ISBN 0-07-223172-6 The First One fourth, by Steven L. Kent