Virginia Serious Game Institute Welcomes New Game Pioneer in Residence

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Provided by Prince William County Economic Development

Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Bushnell

If your childhood included fun-filled visits to Chuck E. Cheese’s or countless hours playing on Atari, then you can thank this guy – Nolan Bushnell. That’s correct, the founder of Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theater Chain is also the creator of Atari, Inc. – the video gaming company that is widely credited to be the forerunner to video arcades and the modern video game industry.

So how does one man successfully pioneer two seemingly unrelated, yet equally iconic inventions?

In his new capacity as Game Pioneer in Residence at Prince William County’s Virginia Serious Game Institute, Mr. Bushnell will provide this insight at the first in a year-long series of lectures, entitled “The Future of Video Game Technology.”

Prince William County and George Mason University (Mason) invite you to learn more and attend the first lecture for free, which is held by Prince William County-based Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI).

“We are thrilled and honored to welcome Mr. Nolan Bushnell as our very first Game Pioneer in Residence,” said Dr. Scott M. Martin, Founding Director, VSGI. “As one of the founding fathers of the modern video game industry, his year-long exclusive commitment to us is truly an endorsement of the high caliber and quality of the Virginia Serious Game Institute and of the Northern Virginia serious game industry, as a whole.”

“Through Mason’s academic programs and Prince William County-based start-up technology business incubator we have established a robust talent pipeline of simulation, modeling and serious game design professionals as well as startup companies,” said Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director, Prince William County Department of Economic Development. “We’re delighted to welcome Mr. Bushnell to Prince William County and know that his insight and expertise will provide invaluable coaching and mentorship to further strengthen that pipeline.”

“I am delighted to be part of the VSGI and I look forward to the months ahead as we share our thoughts and ideas,” said Nolan Bushnell.

“These are indeed exciting times in which simulation and game design are revolutionizing an increasingly broad spectrum of disciplines, applications and even daily life. Through its game design programs, Mason and the VSGI are at the forefront of this transformational movement. I am eager to share my years of experience and knowledge and lend my support wherever possible,” Bushnell added.

A trained engineer who has started over twenty companies, Nolan Bushnell can aptly be described as a consummate entrepreneur, technology leader and visionary. According to the World Video Game of Hall, by most measures of popular impact, Pong launched the video game industry and Atari into a preeminent role in the video game industry. He has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame; received the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Fellowship; and Nation’s Restaurant News “Innovator of the Year” award; and was named one of Newsweek’s “50 Men Who Changed America.”

As part of his exclusive agreement with the VSGI, Mr. Bushnell will hold a public lecture each semester and work closely with students and companies in small groups; provide startup workshops on building game-related businesses; as well as other keynote events. To learn more about these opportunities, the VSGI and entrepreneurial opportunities contact Dr. Scott M. Martin at (703) 627-4719 or

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