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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Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award
Jan 31, 2018, 22:41
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Re: GDC Pulls Bushnell's Pioneer Award Jan 31, 2018, 22:41
Jan 31, 2018, 22:41
 
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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