Bushnell: Online gaming is “not cool”

Friday, 20th March 2009 11:20 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Pong creator Nolan Bushnell said at a BAFTA talk last night that online gaming was “not cool,” claiming that face-to-face interaction was the future of games.

“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 added that the main reason a Martini is more expensive in a bar than making one at home is because “the bar has people around”.

The pioneer’s current project is uWink, an “entertainment dining experience” where people are able to play games via interactive video terminals at tables.

Thanks, EG.



  1. tenthousandgothsonacid

    “Sitting in a dark room in your underpants talking to thousands of people might seem social, but it’s not cool.”

    Yes it fucking is. Fuck you Bushnell ! You’re coming off my friends list. No more monday night killzone sessions for you you turncoat.

    And sometimes I don’t even wear pants !

    #1 6 years ago
  2. DaMan

    Nolan Bushnell is not cool.

    #2 6 years ago

    Now that sounds wierd…

    Do you play first and eat later, or eat first, then hog the table for an all night gaimng seesion.

    I can see this sort of thing playing havoc with reservations…

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Retroid

    Playing with randoms = shite.

    playing with like-minded friends = great! \o/

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Syrok

    Playing with like-minded friends in the same room = unbeatable! \o/

    Shame that offline multiplayer is completely neglected these days.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Grimrita

    This man clearly hasnt played an MMO.

    #6 6 years ago

    “You can’t be on the same team without at least hi-five-ing somebody.”



    #7 6 years ago
  8. DaMan

    Omfg that’s so fucking lame.

    Nolan Bushnell you lame old bitch.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Whizzo

    I guess I should have driven the 320 odd miles up to Carlisle to play some Gears 2 with Retroid the other day rather than just doing it over Live.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Rhythm

    I can kind of see his point – it’s nice as a fallback but it certainly doesn’t match actually sitting alongside fellow gamers.

    Still, as someone’s rightly pointed out, it’s led to its own spin-off forms of gaming being developed. Everquest and WoW certainly wouldn’t have existed without online being possible.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. Shatner


    #11 6 years ago
  12. Madgame

    I can see his point but a martini is more expensive in a bar because of overhead costs of running a brick and mortar operation – payroll, inventory, etc and because the bar is out to make profit. NOT because ‘other people are around’.

    So does he want arcades to make a comeback in some form?

    #12 6 years ago
  13. Tonka


    #13 6 years ago
  14. wz

    He’s absolutely right, I think.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. cachucha

    Hes got a point there, I kinda hate my friend being in his room all day talking to his “friends” on xbox live, going out his house once a week Lol..

    #15 6 years ago
  16. Esha

    He does have a point, unless one is in an environment where they’re pseudo-socialising in a way, then they’re not really getting any benefit from having other people around.

    SecondLife can be good for socialising, but really not that much more so than IRC, and games like Neverwinter Nights can lead to roleplay with good groups, which is also a rather interesting way of interacting with other people.

    But for most games, he’s right.

    Halo: Whatever those kids talk, it isn’t English. I’ve heard more prominently clear English and less homophobic slurs from the most witlessly drunk person in any bar than I have on Live.

    Counterstrike: See above, it’s getting better because most of the kids are going to the above and to TF2, but it’s still pretty bad and it was t he PC’s Live, back in the day. Homophobia and non-coherent stabs at quasi-English ahoy!

    World of Warcraft: This is more akin to a workplace for idiots who aren’t exactly fit for a normal job, so they work their lives away in Warcraft. When I first understood that about Warcraft, I fled from it in stark terror. Instead of whiling their lives away in cubicles for a pay bonus, they’re whiling their lives away in a dungeon for shiny items.

    LOTRO: This is actually quite a bit better, or at least it was in the beta. There were a lot of low level people who just enjoyed sitting around in the Shire, playing music and smoking. This reminded me more of SecondLife and of a real social venue, but that was long ago, in the beta and just shortly after, is it still the same now, I wonder? Probably not.

    Uru: This was fantastic, absolutely fantastic, it encouraged intelligent people to sit around in alien landscapes and have a laugh, usually taking a stab as a group at solving a puzzle. It was like an opt-in version of the Crystal Maze, where every once in a while a group would decide to run off and do something smart.

    What I’m getting at here is the kind of socialising that goes on depends on what the game encourages. If the game encourages you to work every second of your life away, or put lots of holes in other people, then there isn’t exactly going to be a lot of socialising going on, then the man has a point.

    #16 6 years ago

    Good grief.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Shatner


    #18 6 years ago

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