BAFTAs honor Bushnell

Atari founder to receive Fellowship at British awards ceremony taking place March 10.

In 2008, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts decided to shelve its game awards for the first time since the category was introduced in 1998. However, the absence proved to be a one-time occurrence, given that BAFTA announced in August that the game category would return in 2009, though it would now take place on March 10 as opposed to the mid-October ceremonies held in years past.

Nolan Bushnell

Administrative formalities thus resolved, BAFTA announced today that it will honor Atari founder and game-industry forefather Nolan Bushnell with its Fellowship award during this year's event. Bushnell is widely regarded as the original entrepreneur within the industry, having contributed heavily to the proliferation of Al Alcorn's Pong in the 1970s.

"The Fellowship is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow on an individual for their creative work, and we are very excited that Nolan is flying over to accept it at the Awards," said BAFTA chairman David Parfitt. "His contribution is nothing short of remarkable; he ushered in an era, the legacy of which is the vibrant, evolving industry we see before us today."

Bushnell, who went on to found family-friendly arcade Chuck E Cheese as well as gaming-themed restaurant uWink, has most recently been involved with GameWager. The PC-centric online platform implements a token system into a variety of multiplayer PC games such as Valve's Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2. Tokens, which are earned by achieving in-game objectives, can then be spent on a chance to win a number of prizes, such as Alienware laptops or Nvidia graphics cards.

This year, the 2009 BAFTA game awards will be held at the London Hilton in Park Lane, Mayfair. For more on the event, check out BAFTA's official Web site.

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Discussion

9 comments
dentedhalo
dentedhalo

can I just ask whoever put a thumbs down on my post to go and have a look around on the net and and you'll be able to see that my facts are totally correct..... i dont discount bushnells role in the development of the industry but the reality is that he was only able to do what he did because he copied the idea from a real pioneer.

tidyspidey
tidyspidey

@hatieshorror - statictrance was calling the person who wrote "Pong FTW!" an idiot. Nowhere are his comments directed at Bushnell.... the word "you're" in his sentence is clearly not aimed at Bushnell. He would have wrote "HE'S an idiot"..... geez Too many people kick off on here without reading stuff properly....

dentedhalo
dentedhalo

I think you'll find that bushnell STOLE the pong platform from the real industry founder Ralph Baer, creator of the Magnavox Odyssey and the game Odyssey Tennis - Bushnell was found guilty of this copyright infringement but is still (in my view wrongly) often credited as the father of console gaming!

Generalmojo
Generalmojo

yay pong, thnx for spawning the gaming industry :D

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@Statictrance Hes an idiot? Hes an idiot that started the entire home console movement. Without his Atari2600 the Nintendo or Famicon may have never existed and thus every X-box, Playstation, Nintendo, and maybe even Sega consoles wouldnt exist either so show some appreciation to one of the industries first.

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

I don't know about Bushnell while he was a poineer in the video game industry he has no love for video games really.... I mean chuck e cheese thats his baby... I mean when he left Atari was sold to another company which tried to marked the Atari as a home p.c.... hmmm sounds familiar huh Sony.. either way I really have no respect for this guy... Miyamoto, Kojima, Tetsuya, Davide Jaffe, Cory B, Cliff B..... now these guys I respect....

Narroo
Narroo

Gaming restaurant?