September 11, 2005 11:02 PM by Joe Blackmon
Nolan Bushnell serves as one of three resident judges in the new USA Network original reality/competition series “Made in the USA,” which premieres Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at 10:00pm ET/PT.
Bushnell, CEO and founder of uWink, Inc., a technology based entertainment company that creates products that stimulate social interaction through compelling entertainment experiences. He is best known for bringing “PONG” and Atari to the masses and justifiably revered as the “Father of the Video Game Industry.” A true visionary, he’s also the founder of the much-beloved restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese and has recently announced a new venture – the uWink Media Bistro, a national restaurant chain catered to the kid in all of us with a friendly mix of interactive menus and video gaming where diners can compete against one another.
In the early 1970s, Bushnell built one of the first video games named Computer Space. It was too complicated to succeed but in 1971 he created PONG and made history. In 1972, he made more history as the founder of Atari and, effectively, began the electronic gaming revolution. GameSpot calls him the fifth most influential person in computer gaming of all time.
Over the past 20 years, Bushnell has founded over 20 companies, including Catalyst Technologies, Etak, Androbot, Axlon, Irata, AAPPS and ByVideo. Additionally, he has provided consulting services to numerous corporations, including Commodore International, IBM, Cisco Systems and US Digital Communications. He sits on the Boards of Directors of WAVE Systems (NASDAQ:WAVX) and Planetwide Games, a privately held company.
Over the years, Bushnell has received numerous awards of distinction, including being named ASI’s “Man of the Year” in 1997, as well as being the inducted into the “Video Game Hall of Fame.” In January 2000, Bushnell became one of the first 50 inductees into the Consumer Electronics Association’s “Hall of Fame,” which gave public recognition to his significant contributions to 20th Century technology. Bushnell is also highlighted as one of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial icons in “The Revolutionaries,” a historical view of Silicon Valley, which is part of the renowned Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California.
Bushnell received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah, where he is a “Distinguished Fellow”, and also attended Stanford University Graduate School. With a passion for enhancing and improving the educational process and a desire to motivate others, Bushnell frequently lectures at major universities and conferences throughout the country, inspiring others with his views on entrepreneurship and innovation.