International Women’s Day was one of the most celebrated women’s events in history. It was observed with a sense of urgency, as it came in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. It made me think again about the video game business and its own struggle to recognize its pioneering leader Nolan Bushnell, cofounder of Atari. I’ve had a few weeks to think about this now, and it reminded me that with time comes perspective. For the women’s day event, we saw companies such as Google, Zynga, Facebook, and others come out to express their support for women in games, where only one in five employees is female despite the fact that nearly half of all gamers are women. This is our context for viewing Bushnell today. Bushnell made headlines a month ago when the Game Developers Conference first decided to award him its Pioneer award for starting Atari with Ted Dabney in 1972. Then, on January 31, a day later, it rescinded the award after protests by the #NotNolan Twitter campaign started by activist and Congressional candidate Brianna Wu. The GDC was concerned about Bushnell’s past comments about women and the sex-filled environment he created at Atari in… Read full this story
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