Nolan Bushnell, one of the founding fathers of the video games industry will receive the Fellowship at this year's GAME British Academy Video Games Awards. Electrical engineer, entrepreneur and founder of Atari inc, Nolan is credited by many for kick-starting the video games revolution; in his native US, Bushnell was named one of Newsweek's '50 Men That Changed America'.
Pong was the first video game to achieve widespread popularity in both the arcade and home console markets. At one stage, the sheer number of people playing the game was reputed to have caused a coin shortage in the US, with additional coins being minted to meet demand.
On being invited to receive the Fellowship, Bushnell said “I am humbled to be selected for this honour from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. The British people are not only great game players but have historically been some of the best game creators. The pub culture and country house drawing room environments have been instrumental in spawning games and game players through the centuries. I am very grateful to receive an award from the people with a history of creating and embracing this type of entertainment.”
David Parfitt, Chairman of the Academy said “The Fellowship is the highest accolade the Academy can bestow on an individual for their creative work and we are very excited that Nolan is flying over to accept it at the Awards. His contribution is nothing short of remarkable; he ushered in an era, the legacy of which is the vibrant, evolving industry we see before us today.”
The GAME British Academy Video Games Awards, hosted by comedian and gamer Dara O'Briain, will take place on March 10 at the London Hilton on Park Lane.