Atari founder slams online gaming

Written by Joe Martin

March 20, 2009 // 12:10 p.m.

Tags: #atari #atari-founder-slams-online-gaming #mmo #nolan #pong #wow

Atari founder and the creator of Pong!, Nolan Bushnell, has slammed online gaming in a recent interview, claiming that the very idea of an MMO is just "not cool. Speaking with perhaps a little bit of bias, Bushnell said he preferred the idea of his latest venture, called uWink.

Talking about multiplayer gaming in a Q&A in London, Bushnell described the very idea of social gaming over the internet as being "stilted and flat", arguing that it was always better to play with people in person.

"Social is buying someone a drink," he said. "Sitting in a dark room in your underpants talking to thousands of people might seem social, but it's not cool. The public space is always going to be here."

Bushnell said that he thought his new project, uWink, was a much better alternative. Describing the idea as an entertainment dining experience, uWink is a system where people can play games via interactive terminals built into dining tables. Bushnell claims that the idea may seem ludicrous now, but has been put together with future technology in mind. 20 years from now interactive coffee tables will be the norm, says Bushnell.

The original founder of Atari also said that he plans to look at how games can be used as an educational tool in the future, saying that he believes edu-games could revolutionise the otherwise horrible US school system.

"I think the next big wave of value is in education - games are good for you. I want to leave a legacy of more than just fun."

Would you buy an interactive coffee table? Let us know in the forums.
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