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GDC rescind Pioneer Award for Nolan Bushnell in light of community outcry


In addition to honours for specific games, the Game Developers Choice Awards recognize a number of individuals each year for their contributions to the game industry. The Pioneer Award is given to “individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history.” This year, the honour was to be awarded to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, but following concerns from the gaming community, GDC organizers have decided not to follow through with the award.

nolan bushnell gdc pioneer award

Interviews and historical accounts with Bushnell and others from the early days of Atari suggest that the company’s co-founder helped to foster a fraternity-like atmosphere. In particular, an anecdote from Atari designer Al Alcorn in the book The Ultimate History of Video Games describes an incident where Bushnell tried to convince a female employee to join a hot tub board meeting.

Source: pcgames