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GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash

Rolling Stone's "Glixel" reports that the Game Developer's Conference is reconsidering plans to honor Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell with their Pioneer Award at the 2018 GDC Awards. This follows an outcry that's spawned a #NotNolan campaign, citing well-publicized stories of how the original Atari culture was a hotbed of drinking, drugs, hot tubs, and sexism (in other words, the 1970s). Concerns are being voiced that the timing of this award is especially inappropriate in light of the current focus on movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, and a GDC spokesperson tells Glixel they are looking at the choice "more closely" in light of this.
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26. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Feb 1, 2018, 14:17 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Verno wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 12:26:
I'm not worried about it, these movements eat themselves from within once the infighting starts. It's all Moral High Ground until the accused is someone they identify with and then the cause devolves into factions.

Anyways this whole thing was shameful and pointless.
The problem is that these movements can cause a lot of damage, to either people, organizations, and sometimes society at large. Of course the backlash against them can be spectacular too, real question is what are we going to hit first.
 



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25. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Feb 1, 2018, 12:26 Verno
 
I'm not worried about it, these movements eat themselves from within once the infighting starts. It's all Moral High Ground until the accused is someone they identify with and then the cause devolves into factions.

Anyways this whole thing was shameful and pointless.
 
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24. No subject Jan 31, 2018, 21:57 Mashiki Amiketo
 
NKD wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 17:19:
Oh for fucks sake.

"You can't give an award to someone who partied in the 70s!"

That sentiment makes no sense at all. It's not like the guy is a convicted pedophile or a murderer.

Social justice that's why. Facts? Don't matter. Different time? Doesn't matter. Nobody hurt? Doesn't matter. People with? Doesn't matter. All that matter is what some whiny neo-puritian hipster is crying over something that hurt their feelings. Further comments touched on it, but that's what it is. It's a witch hunt, nothing more, nothing less. No different then dongle gate, Tim Hunt, Matt Taylor.

Then again, another name getting that "award" like Rami Ismail. The guy is a shitty human, in modern times, who is racist to whites, openly defends terrorism as a means of imposing political and social ideology and really? If you disagree with him that Islamists blowing people up is bad, you're also a racist.

So the slippery slope proves to be true, and several people who were once for this witch hunting are now against it. Gee...will the wonders never cease.

edit: And now it becomes a case of yep...it is a witch hunt. I hope you jackasses that supported this are enjoying your entire life being able to be destroyed and/or ruined not because you didn't do anything wrong, but because someone either knew you did something they didn't like(but it was socially acceptable) or because some woman has an axe to grind 10-30 years later.

This comment was edited on Jan 31, 2018, 22:09.
 



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23. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 20:37 Rigs
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 20:05:
They have officially withdrawn the award. Nolan will not receive it this year.

On the one hand, it sounds like the stuff Nolan did was similar to the behavior that forced Al Franken out of the Senate. We don't forgive Nazis and Klanners just because "the culture was different then."

On the other hand, as someone pointed out, no rock star ever would get an award. Jimmy Page was banging a 14 year old in the early 70s. I have a female friend who was a groupie, and she has stories about illegal behavior involving nearly every major rock act from the 70s and early 80s.

Incredibly talented people are capable of terrible acts. Humans are complicated. I don't know what the answer is.

The problem is that the same people that have not had a major problem with any of this even five years ago all of a sudden have a major problem with all of it. It reeks of hypocrisy. Do as I say not as I do. And where does it end? Guys (and let's be brutally clear here, this is male-centric in the worst way) don't know what's even considered appropriate now or even if it is considered okay now, what about ten years from now? If this train doesn't derail or run out of steam, then in ten years we could be heading for '1984'-esk 'good truth' crap. There has to be boundaries here and unfortunately, right now, even speaking in a tone that is not 100% in favor of the 'MeToo' or 'TimesUp' movements makes you look like you either have something to hide or are a misogynistic prick. I don't have the answer either but it sure as hell isn't this.

=-Rigs-=
 
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22. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 20:05 jdreyer
 
They have officially withdrawn the award. Nolan will not receive it this year.

On the one hand, it sounds like the stuff Nolan did was similar to the behavior that forced Al Franken out of the Senate. We don't forgive Nazis and Klanners just because "the culture was different then."

On the other hand, as someone pointed out, no rock star ever would get an award. Jimmy Page was banging a 14 year old in the early 70s. I have a female friend who was a groupie, and she has stories about illegal behavior involving nearly every major rock act from the 70s and early 80s.

Incredibly talented people are capable of terrible acts. Humans are complicated. I don't know what the answer is.
 
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21. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 18:30 HorrorScope
 
Rigs wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 13:32:
You know what I find the most disconcerting (and I hate to bring it up because I loathe to start yet another political debate...so don't do it, that's not my point) is our President can be accused by what is it now? 18 different woman and have taped evidence and nothing is done yet something someone did in the 1970's is cause for concern? By that metric, just about all of us over the age of 35 are guilty of...something.

Stop this fucking rock, I wanna get off...

=-Rigs-=

This president gets away with so much I do wonder if he's that one guy.
 
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20. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 18:29 HorrorScope
 
In the 70's? Times were different, not saying you can't be a creep or even be over the top wrong forwarding to today. But putting today's climate on something 40 years ago is all kinds of messed up to. Sexism is the only thing said there that is hitting the nerve, the other two lol. So what level of sexism? Do we have rape acquisitions towards Bushnell? If you don't have strong evidence or many coming forward you got nothing 40 years later. "He pinched my ass?", that shit was normal at one time and isn't a guaranteed thing the recipient was against."The guy made more",we still have that today. "The guy got the job", nothing for that time and not the hot topic now.  
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19. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 18:06 Beamer
 
And his statement, which puts the industry first and him second, is why he was a leader and a pioneer in the first place.  



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18. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 18:05 Vulkan
 
Rigs wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 17:59:
Squirmer wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 17:36:
Statement from Bushnell:

“I applaud the GDC for ensuring their institution reflects what is right,” Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell says via Twitter, “specifically with regards to how people should be treated in the workplace. And if that means an award is the price I have to pay personally so the whole industry may be more aware and sensitive to these issues, I applaud that, too. If my personal actions or the actions of anyone who ever worked with me offended or caused pain to anyone at our companies, then I apologize without reservation.”

Eh, he handled it better than I ever would... *shrugs*

=-Rigs-=

I feel like people shouldn't have to apologize when they haven't done anything wrong, but maybe that's just me.
 
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17. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 18:05 DarkCntry
 
Squirmer wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 17:36:
Statement from Bushnell:

“I applaud the GDC for ensuring their institution reflects what is right,” Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell says via Twitter, “specifically with regards to how people should be treated in the workplace. And if that means an award is the price I have to pay personally so the whole industry may be more aware and sensitive to these issues, I applaud that, too. If my personal actions or the actions of anyone who ever worked with me offended or caused pain to anyone at our companies, then I apologize without reservation.”

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't...

I mean, really, what do you expect him to do that wouldn't result in getting slammed around by the likes of Brianna Wu?
 
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16. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 18:04 Beamer
 
So the behavior is inappropriate by today's light yet very 70s.

Has anyone come out and said they felt hurt or victimized by it? Doesn't seem that way. Given that this was somewhat the norm back then, it's certainly not unreasonable to think it may have also been victim-free and considered fun for all involved.
 



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15. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 17:59 Rigs
 
Squirmer wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 17:36:
Statement from Bushnell:

“I applaud the GDC for ensuring their institution reflects what is right,” Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell says via Twitter, “specifically with regards to how people should be treated in the workplace. And if that means an award is the price I have to pay personally so the whole industry may be more aware and sensitive to these issues, I applaud that, too. If my personal actions or the actions of anyone who ever worked with me offended or caused pain to anyone at our companies, then I apologize without reservation.”

Eh, he handled it better than I ever would... *shrugs*

=-Rigs-=
 
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14. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 17:36 Squirmer
 
Statement from Bushnell:

“I applaud the GDC for ensuring their institution reflects what is right,” Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell says via Twitter, “specifically with regards to how people should be treated in the workplace. And if that means an award is the price I have to pay personally so the whole industry may be more aware and sensitive to these issues, I applaud that, too. If my personal actions or the actions of anyone who ever worked with me offended or caused pain to anyone at our companies, then I apologize without reservation.”
 
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13. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 17:32 Flatline
 
ldonyo wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 13:05:
They aren't revising anything, they're asking that the 1970s be viewed through today's societal lens.

That literally is the definition of historical revisionism incidentally.

I think it's silly too. The award doesn't mean f*ck all ultimately. And if there is going to be some exhibit to Bushnell and Atari, then sure, have a section detailing the excesses of the company back then.


Edit: Oh hey look! According to the article it's Brianna Wu who is among the most vocal about this! Why am I absolutely not surprised?
 
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12. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 17:31 DarkCntry
 
As I see it, he broke no laws or exceeded social norms of the period in question. Whether or not it fits into today's social expectations is irrelevant and should hold no bearing on him being awarded for a technical achievement.  
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11. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 17:19 NKD
 
Oh for fucks sake.

"You can't give an award to someone who partied in the 70s!"

That sentiment makes no sense at all. It's not like the guy is a convicted pedophile or a murderer.

 
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10. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 16:21 DangerDog
 
Set time machine to 1970's

ENGAGE!
 
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9. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 14:28 Cutter
 
Yes everyone needs to be held accountable for any and every action of theirs no matter when it occurred or how innocuous or great the trespass. And they must be punished forever for it. There should be no forgiveness!

Rolleyes

What do you call a million SJWs at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.
 
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8. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 13:32 Rigs
 
You know what I find the most disconcerting (and I hate to bring it up because I loathe to start yet another political debate...so don't do it, that's not my point) is our President can be accused by what is it now? 18 different woman and have taped evidence and nothing is done yet something someone did in the 1970's is cause for concern? By that metric, just about all of us over the age of 35 are guilty of...something.

Stop this fucking rock, I wanna get off...

=-Rigs-=
 
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7. Re: GDC Reconsidering Bushnell Award After Backlash Jan 31, 2018, 13:05 ldonyo
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 11:57:
Oh this is just horseshit. Without Nolan Bushnell, we wouldn't be where we are today with either hardware or software. Revisionist history just needs to stop.
They aren't revising anything, they're asking that the 1970s be viewed through today's societal lens. It isn't remotely like McCarthyism, because it isn't the Federal government doing the judging of what is now deemed inappropriate behavior. It is pretty ridiculous, though.

What Atari did in their own offices 40+ years ago with consenting adults should have no bearing on the award Nolan is being given. If that were a criteria by which any "tech founder" award were to be judged, no company started in the last 100 years or more would ever receive a reward. Apple was a terrible place to work in the beginning and IBM was a boys' club for decades, just to mention a couple of other innovators that would be dinged for their behavior if viewed through the same lens.
 
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