Atari Founder Writes Science Fiction Book, Opens New Horizons Of Money LaunderingS

Did you know that the same guy founded Atari (in 1972) and the pizza/video-game chain Chuck E. Cheese? Nolan Bushnell was ousted from both companies right before they hit the big time. And now he's writing a science-fiction novel.

Not surprisingly, Bushnell's novel in progress is about a "video game designer in the future," and it's "a hilarious experiment," he tells Switched.com. He won't go into much more detail, other than to promise there'll be some awesome action sequences. Bushnell has come out against ultra-violent video games like Grand Theft Auto because it's not constructive or cathartic to portray violence against a cop, sex worker or pimp. But it's okay to show someone killing zombies, because "they're already dead!"

Meanwhile, Bushnell is also coming back to video games, co-founding a new company called Reality Gap. He says that company's major innovation is to have a single in-game currency that will work across all of its games. So if you make tons of ducats in a medieval fantasy game, you can transfer that wealth to a space-adventure game and use to buy ray guns. (At least, that's what he seems to be saying.) Bushnell says a made-up currency was Chuck E. Cheese's major innovation back in the day:

The [game] token system was very key to the success of Chuck E. Cheese. It's something you can promote. You don't want to give away quarters, but with tokens, you can give away games. It gives you some very interesting flexibility to do cool and interesting things.

[Switched]