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Outrage Caused GDC To Rescind Achievement Award To Atari Founder

Nolan Bushnell, GDC.Max Photography/Wikimedia

It seems the influence of the #MeToo movement has now started affecting the video game industry. The Game Developers Choice Awards was bombarded by outrage from the community recently when it announced that Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, would be given the prestigious Pioneer Award. The #NotNolan outcry that highlighted the industry veteran’s past workplace misconduct put a stop to that.

In a statement released by the GDC, the organization notes that its committee members have decided not to proceed with giving Bushnell the award. In fact, the award would not be given to anyone at all this year.

“They believe their picks should reflect the values of today’s game industry and will dedicate this year’s award to honor the pioneering and unheard voices of the past,” the statement reads, referring to the committee.

The significance of the Pioneer Award is intended to recognize “individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history.” It was started all the way back in 2009 and has since been given to nine industry veterans.

As Kotaku reports, rumors and reports of Bushnell’s inappropriate behavior in the workplace towards female employees of Atari have been circulating for years. The GDC announcement of its consideration of the pioneer only served to bring back these accusations instead of putting the spotlight on his achievements.

Bushnell has since released a statement apologizing for his past behavior. It seems he really does have a lot to apologize for, however, as his past comments have been well-documented.

He previously described certain female employees in rather inappropriate fashion to Playboy back in the glory days of Atari, even sharing that Pong was codenamed Darlene after a woman who Bushnell said was “was stacked and had the tiniest waist.” This and other candid revelations from former Atari employees paint a telling picture of Bushnell.

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2018-02-19 16:32:32
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0.9 %

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1 %

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-1541 %

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January 22 19:00 UTC 4061040610m

ARTrade Balance

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-1541 %

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ARAnnual Primary Balance*

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2016 bln ARS

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January 31 00:00 UTC 2879028790m

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2016 bln ARS

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Bln AR bln ARS

January 31 00:00 UTC 2879028790m

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2016 bln ARS

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