George Mason University
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George Mason University

Video game pioneer Nolan Bushnell to mentor Mason students

September 30, 2016

Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari and mentored Steve Jobs, will be working with Mason students and companies. He’ll also be giving workshops about how to start a game-related company—something he knows about after founding 20 businesses, including Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Bushnell will be the first Game Pioneer in Residence at Mason’s Virginia Serious Game Institute. His first in a year-long series of lectures, “The Future of Video Game Technology,” will be 10-11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at the Harris Theater on Mason’s Fairfax Campus.

“We are thrilled and honored to welcome Mr. Nolan Bushnell as our very first Game Pioneer in Residence,” said 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.”

“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 more than 20 companies, Nolan Bushnell can aptly be described as a consummate entrepreneur, technology leader and visionary.  According to the World Video Game Hall of Fame,  Pong launched the video game industry and Atari into a preeminent role in the video game industry. 

Bushnell 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 Scott M. Martin at 703-627-4719 or

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