Atari founder says the games of today are "trash"

Trash GamesNolan Bushnell may not be a household word but his effect on the game industry has been felt for decades–he is the founder of Atari and one of the early pioneers in video games.

But Bushnell has some harsh words for the state of today’s games and said, "Video games today are a race to the bottom. They are pure, unadulterated trash and I’m sad for that."

What he wants is less shooters, blow ‘em ups and beat ‘em ups in favor of games that are geared towards social interaction, fun and education.

"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 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."

The 64-year-old Bushnell has apparently not done a whole lot of gaming of late as his very vision for social gaming seems to have come to fruition with Nintendo’s Wii. The Wii has fostered the very concepts that Bushnell wants to see in the gaming industry. As far as present video games being an "isolated" experience, maybe a visit to Xbox Live may change his outlook as well.

So what game does he see as fulfilling his desire of a title that fulfills his standards?

"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."

So breaking down little colored bricks with a little bouncing ball on a TV screen leads to a metaphor of a better world? That’s a bit of stretch if you ask me, but coming from a guy who hasn’t produced a video game in over 30 years, it just might indicate that he’s a little bit behind the gaming times.

[via electronicdesign]



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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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