Nolan Bushnell

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Nolan K. Bushnell (born February 5, 1943) is an American engineer and entrepreneur who founded both Atari, Inc and the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters chain. Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News “Innovator of the Year” award, and was named one of Newsweek's "50 Men Who Changed America." Bushnell has started more than twenty companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry. He is currently the founder and CEO of uWink, a game-based restaurant startup, and the Chairman of the board at NeoEdge Networks, an advertising-based video game company.

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Personal life

Bushnell graduated from the University of Utah College of Engineering with a degree in electrical engineering in 1968 after transferring from Utah State University, and was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He was one of many computer science students of the 1960s who played the historic Spacewar! game on DEC mainframe computers. The University of Utah was heavily involved in computer graphics research and spawned a wide variety of Spacewar versions.

Bushnell worked at Lagoon Amusement Park for many years in high school and college while living in his hometown of Clearfield, Utah. He was particularly interested in the midway arcade games, where theme park customers would have to use skill and luck to ultimately achieve the goal and win the prize. He liked the concept of getting people curious about the game and from there getting them to pay the fee in order to play. He would use his love for games and theme parks to help launch both Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters.

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