Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari, on Why He Makes

Maker News Technology

Nolan Bushnell is an American inventor and businessman whose work has undoubtedly touched almost every person in our country, and likely beyond. The electrical engineer founded Atari in July 1972, with his company releasing Pong a few months later. Many consider this to be the first and most iconic video arcade game, and see it as the launchpad for what turned into a huge consumer market through the early 80s — and an absolutely massive market nowadays.

A serial inventor and entrepreneur, Bushnell founded Chuck E Cheese after selling Atari in the late 70s. Since then, he’s worked on various computer and software projects, including his latest, educational software provider BrainRush. He’s also raised eight kids, an engaging group that seem to have inherited his knack for creativity, invention, and business. Son Brent’s Two Bit Circus is a regular exhibitor at Maker Faires, showing the wild hands-on games and projects they create in their Los Angeles workshop.

Bushnell and family are the subject of the latest WhyIMake video; it’s an enlightening peek into the dynamics and mindset that keep this icon moving.

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Mike Senese

Mike Senese is a content producer with a focus on technology, science, and engineering. He served as Executive Editor of Make: magazine for nearly a decade, and previously was a senior editor at Wired. Mike has also starred in engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, fixing cars, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza. You might spot him at his local skatepark in the SF Bay Area.

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