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GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award

A tweet from the Game Developer's Conference announces they have decided not to give out a Pioneer Award this year, following backlash to their choice of Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell based on allegations of sexist behavior. The tweet does not directly reference Bushnell, but does say their awards advisory committee believes "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." Interestingly, there is no notice of this on the Game Developers Conference Website, and yesterday's announcement of the Ambassador, Pioneer, and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients has since been scrubbed of any mention whatsoever of Bushnell and the Pioneer Award. For his part, Bushnell responds with a tweet where he apologizes and expresses support for this action:
"I applaud the GDC for ensuring that their institution reflect what is right, 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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23. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 2, 2018, 13:51 Beamer
 
Timmeh wrote on Feb 2, 2018, 11:25:
Every single one of you brain dead leftist sjw retro warriors and revisionists can GO @#$% OFF.

News flash... Women could not even vote in the USA or most countries in the entire world until recently. They STILL cant even drive a car in most Islamic countries you love so much. Its only a recent thing that the world started thinking differently.

You don't hold history to modern standards you @#$%ing RETARDS.

god the left is worse than the religious right ever dreamed of.


If your sister is ever angry that her husband beats her, do you tell her she's a stupid SJW because women are beheaded in the Middle East?
 



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22. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 2, 2018, 12:23 jdreyer
 
Sepharo wrote on Feb 2, 2018, 04:06:
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 22:48:
I wonder if your morals and behaviors will be shunned or accepted in 50 years from now retrospectively...

Check out the latest hardcore history episode on this very topic

Just downloaded that yesterday. Will probably start it on my way into work in a few mins.
 
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21. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 2, 2018, 11:25 Timmeh
 
Every single one of you brain dead leftist sjw retro warriors and revisionists can GO @#$% OFF.

News flash... Women could not even vote in the USA or most countries in the entire world until recently. They STILL cant even drive a car in most Islamic countries you love so much. Its only a recent thing that the world started thinking differently.

You don't hold history to modern standards you @#$%ing RETARDS.

god the left is worse than the religious right ever dreamed of.
 
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20. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 2, 2018, 04:06 Sepharo
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 22:48:
I wonder if your morals and behaviors will be shunned or accepted in 50 years from now retrospectively...

Check out the latest hardcore history episode on this very topic
 
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19. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 1, 2018, 22:48 eRe4s3r
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 20:51:
Lastly, the award recipient himself feels this is a good thing, unequivocally.


I wonder if your morals and behaviors will be shunned or accepted in 50 years from now retrospectively..... the guy obviously did the right thing though. Because nobody with actual integrity should be tainted by a GDC award ^^

 
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18. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 1, 2018, 20:51 jdreyer
 
@KX, nothing he did at Atari is private. Everything you do on company time at company premises belongs to the company, and the company is responsible for it.

Imagine that your female boss wore a "I fuck boytoys" t-shirt, and asked you to strip down and code in the hot tub. How is that in any way appropriate, even in the 70s? He didn't go full Weinstein, but his behavior was unprofessional, and even back in the 70s a company could get sued for that. That's when the term "sexual harassment" was coined and lawsuits we're initiated under the civil Rights Act.

Lastly, the award recipient himself feels this is a good thing, unequivocally.

 
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17. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 1, 2018, 18:27 Kxmode
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 02:30:
Kxmode wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 23:06:
What a person does in their private life has no bearing on the achievements and accomplishments they've made in their professional, and to not honor them because of the latest crazy bandwagon in play, not only insults the individual but the industry at large.

You need to read up son, cuz all the shit he did, he did that shit at work. And he put it in his biography.

He also said if (rightly or wrongly) not giving him the award raises awareness of this issue, he'd gladly sacrifice the award. It was a smooth move.

What he privately did at Atari is not mutually inclusive to his professional work at Atari. The award in question is to honor the work he did at Atari, and the industry as a whole. It doesn't honor moral imperative (if such an award ever existed very few industry professionals would win it). And his support for the GDC's decision is expected given the current climate for high-profile individuals. It's less for him and more about GDC's public image.

This comment was edited on Feb 3, 2018, 23:09.
 
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16. Re: CIG Responds to Crytek Feb 1, 2018, 14:06 Flatline
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 12:44:
Bushnell pressured employees to get naked at work and get into a hot tub with him (among other things). While not the worse thing in the world relative to Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, etc. it's still bad, and made working at Atari an uncomfortable place to work especially for women.

To be fair, we don't know if people coming on board were told that.

"We have a pretty... ah... relaxed environment here. There's a Jacuzzi in the board room. Bathing suits are prohibited. You okay with that?"

 
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15. No subject Feb 1, 2018, 13:30 Parallax Abstraction
 
I've not paid attention or cared much for these awards for years and just rolled my eyes this year when they included Rami Ismail. He claims to be half of Vlambeer but does very little development. His partner does most of the work and stays out of the limelight with Rami basically just goes to conferences and lectures other devs on everything they're doing wrong because it doesn't align with him politically. And of course, taking credit for half of what his partner does. On this year's roster is also Tim Schafer, whose complete ineptitude at business and smarmy attitude towards his backers, has demonstrated in big neon letters, everything that can go wrong with crowdfunding. This latest witch hunt is just proof that these awards are as politically driven as any other modern award show.  



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14. Re: CIG Responds to Crytek Feb 1, 2018, 12:44 jdreyer
 
panbient wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 06:13:
jdreyer wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 02:30:

You need to read up son, cuz all the shit he did, he did that shit at work. And he put it in his biography.

So with that logic in place why do I need to keep seeing Nikki Sixx's stupid face on tv commercials for another music variety show? And some of the stuff he and Tommy Lee claim they did to groupies in The Dirt is far beyond anything I've read about Bushnell.

Except that those groupies went there to be fucked. Everything consensual among all parties. One of my best friends was a groupie, and that's exactly why she went to shows: to get backstage and fuck a rock star. Of course she usually also had to fuck the roadie so he'd let her back stage, but that's a different story... (One of her friends got knocked up after a Bowie show, and aborted. She didn't know if it was Bowie's baby, or the roadie's)

Bushnell pressured employees to get naked at work and get into a hot tub with him (among other things). While not the worse thing in the world relative to Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, etc. it's still bad, and made working at Atari an uncomfortable place to work especially for women.

Bushnell's reaction is a good one. But that does not mean this specific outrage is not veering towards vilifying individuals today for norms of yesterday's society. And the current double standard I'm seeing (again where are the protests against rock stars?...) isn't really helping things.

Harassment and intimidation is a very real issue in software development. Reminding employees how easily they can be replaced by the next crop of college graduates is both incredibly demoralizing and a nasty way of justifying not paying them their actual worth - and that's rather benign compared to the aggression most women are subjected to. I just don't see how this specific GDC decision is going to accomplish anything outside the gamer echo chamber.

Maybe, I don't know, instead of punishing someone from the past who hasn't otherwise been charged with any sort of aggression (besides living in tasteless times) maybe honour a current employer who's actually doing it right? Are there any companies (with more than just 3-4 employees) who've actually managed it?

I hear that EA is one of the most diverse and harassment free places to work. They've won awards in the past for that. As much as we hate them for their game design, sounds like they're doing it right.
 
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13. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 1, 2018, 11:44 Prez
 
Verno wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 08:58:
Ridiculous and petty, just trying to score some feelgood backslapper PR.

Yep. GDC took the coward's way out instead of taking a stand against socially-mandated idiocy.
 
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12. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 1, 2018, 08:58 Verno
 
Ridiculous and petty, just trying to score some feelgood backslapper PR.  
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11. Re: CIG Responds to Crytek Feb 1, 2018, 06:13 panbient
 
jdreyer wrote on Feb 1, 2018, 02:30:

You need to read up son, cuz all the shit he did, he did that shit at work. And he put it in his biography.

So with that logic in place why do I need to keep seeing Nikki Sixx's stupid face on tv commercials for another music variety show? And some of the stuff he and Tommy Lee claim they did to groupies in The Dirt is far beyond anything I've read about Bushnell.

Where are the protests against Van Halen? David Lee Roth famously spoke of a 'volley ball' team. Where are the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame protests against just about everyone they've awarded? Even if Bon Jovi sterilized his / their image over the years you can still find pics of him surrounded by a bed load of topless groupies from early in their career if you dig enough.

Bushnell's reaction is a good one. But that does not mean this specific outrage is not veering towards vilifying individuals today for norms of yesterday's society. And the current double standard I'm seeing (again where are the protests against rock stars?...) isn't really helping things.

Harassment and intimidation is a very real issue in software development. Reminding employees how easily they can be replaced by the next crop of college graduates is both incredibly demoralizing and a nasty way of justifying not paying them their actual worth - and that's rather benign compared to the aggression most women are subjected to. I just don't see how this specific GDC decision is going to accomplish anything outside the gamer echo chamber.

Maybe, I don't know, instead of punishing someone from the past who hasn't otherwise been charged with any sort of aggression (besides living in tasteless times) maybe honour a current employer who's actually doing it right? Are there any companies (with more than just 3-4 employees) who've actually managed it?
 
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10. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 1, 2018, 04:36 PacoTaco
 
a

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2019, 00:54.
 
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9. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Feb 1, 2018, 04:19 DangerDog
 
Great victory!

except not really, they act like they've erased his name from the history books.

get real.
 
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8. Re: CIG Responds to Crytek Feb 1, 2018, 03:36 NKD
 
You need to read up son, cuz all the shit he did, he did that shit at work. And he put it in his biography.

Who has accused him of sexual misconduct? I haven't seen a single accusation. It's just people reading that Atari was a party house in the 70s and judging people for their 40-years-gone consensual behavior between adults.
 
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7. Re: CIG Responds to Crytek Feb 1, 2018, 02:30 jdreyer
 
Kxmode wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 23:06:
What a person does in their private life has no bearing on the achievements and accomplishments they've made in their professional, and to not honor them because of the latest crazy bandwagon in play, not only insults the individual but the industry at large.

You need to read up son, cuz all the shit he did, he did that shit at work. And he put it in his biography.

He also said if (rightly or wrongly) not giving him the award raises awareness of this issue, he'd gladly sacrifice the award. It was a smooth move.
 
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The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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6. Re: CIG Responds to Crytek Jan 31, 2018, 23:06 Kxmode
 
What a person does in their private life has no bearing on the achievements and accomplishments they've made in their professional, and to not honor them because of the latest crazy bandwagon in play, not only insults the individual but the industry at large.  
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5. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Jan 31, 2018, 22:41 Squirmer
 
IMO what really needs to be acknowledged is that giving an award to Bushnell has nothing to do with any culture in Atari in those days. You can look back at those times and think those cultures were not appropriate and definitely should not return -- and yet still support the award.

This particular case seems silly because (as far as I know) no one who actually worked at the company has ever complained. I get that some people may have felt uncomfortable and never said anything, but that's only a possibility. With no confirmation of that, this whole thing doesn't make much sense.

To be frank, it feels like some people in the games biz just really wanted to get on board the #MeToo train and jumped at the first opportunity. (For the record, I think #MeToo is important and will achieve good things.)
 
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4. Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Jan 31, 2018, 22:05 StingingVelvet
 
Eirikrautha wrote on Jan 31, 2018, 21:49:
This has officially become a witch hunt. Much like the French Revolution, I can't wait until these assholes are marched to the guillotine, protesting their "ally-ship" the whole way... Furious

Absolutely in witch hunt mode, but there's not much to do at this point other than to ride it out. Anyone prominently saying it's going overboard will lose.
 
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