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Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell playing the game Go

This nOde last updated November 28th, 2001 and is permanently morphing...
(6 Cauac (Storm Cloud) - 17 Ceh (Red) -

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 founder of internal linkAtari
 founder of Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Gallery
 founder of Sente (now defunct)

conceptual creator of Pong

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Everyday Life, 1972

Atari (the name is equivalent to check in the Japanese game internal linkgo) is founded by Utah-born computer games inventor Nolan Bushnell, 27, and a friend with an investment of $250 each to manufacture and market "Pong"- the first commercial video-arcade game. Beside it is a dark wood cabinet holding a black-and-white cathode-ray screen and the instruction, "Avoid missing ball for high score." Drop in a quarter, the machine "serves" a ball automatically from one side of the screen, a white blip darts about the screen, and the player uses controls to hit the blip with his ball. Bolting a coin box to the outside, Bushnell installs the game in Andy Capp's tavern, a Sunnyvale, Calif. pool bar, in the fall. He takes consulting jobs with electronics firms to raise money, persuades a local bank to give him a $50,000 line of credit, puts together a team of techies who work 12 to 16 hours a day assembling Pong machines (using Motorola TVs) while listening to Rolling Stone and internal linkLed Zeppelin records, and sells about 10 machines per day, mostly to distributors who handle pinball machines and jukeboxes. He will find a venture capitalist to back him and will sell 6,000 "Pong" games at more than $1,000 each.

the game itself was designed by Al Alcorn.

Bushnell also lost a court case agains the creator of the internal linkOdyssey home videogame system, which featured a Pong-like game.

Like most famous techies, he was an excellent marketing person, as opposed to an innovator.

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Nolan Bushnell attended one of the early Odyssey demonstrations in Burlingame, CA on May 24, 1972. After founding Atari on June 27, 1972, Bushnell and Al Alcorn (his first employee) built the famous prototype coin-op Pong machine and installed it in Andy Capp's, a local Sunnyvale bar. Soon after Magnavox sued for copyright infringement. Although Bushnell insisted that he did not copy PONG from the Odyssey, US District Court Judge John F. Grady was not convinced that Bushnell had conceived Pong prior to seeing the 1972 Odyssey demo and ruled that Atari must pay royalties to Magnavox in order to market its games. A $700,000 settlement was awarded in the first ever video game lawsuit.

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1971 Nolan Bushnell builds his first  videogame, internal link_Computer Space_.   This commercial version of internal link_Space War_' proves to be far ahead of its time. The complex  rules and abstract nature of the  play mystify and intimidate  players. It flops.  1971 Shortly after Bushnell unveils  'Computer Space.' another internal linkM.I.T. student named Bill Pitts  produces his own 'Spacewar'  variant. GALAXY GAME is even  less successful; the prototype  was the only version ever put  together.

Computer Space Space War 1962
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