You'd think a man who was made a millionaire several times over by the Chuck E. Cheese pizza chain wouldn't be judgmental. However, Nolan Bushnell, the founder and onetime head of said pizzeria/video game parlor franchise and the once-mighty publisher/console-maker Atari has issued a scathing statement about the current state of games.
"Video games today are a race to the bottom. They are pure, unadulterated trash and I'm sad for that," Bushnell told the tech magazine Electronic Design in an at-times fiery interview. Bushnell did not single out any games in particular, nor did he name any companies or platforms as being prime offenders.
Despite his blanket statement, Bushnell's most recent venture has games at its very center. Some 31 years after he sold Atari to Warner Bros.--which went on to make billions on the 2600 home console--the serial entrepreneur has founded uWink, a restaurant where each dining table is equipped with touch screens offering a host of causal and "social" games.
Bushnell explained the concept behind uWink thusly: "A lot of video games 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."
Though Bushnell hopes for it to be a Chuck E. Cheese-size franchise, uWink currently only has one location in suburban Los Angeles.