Nolan's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    TEACH Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Los Angeles, CA

NOLAN BUSHNELL

CEO
BrainRush

“The trick to life is: find something you're interested in, then drop everything and study it to death.”

INTERESTS:

Education Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Education Exploration Passion Struggle Values Experience Dedication Focus Hard Work

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

accomplishments, amusement parks, atari, balance, challenging, computer, computer science, creativity, daydream, drugs, gamers, hands on, happiness, internet, neuroscience, pride, projects, road trip, student, technology

BIOGRAPHY:

  • In college, he wanted to be an electrical engineer, but he also loved to party, and he found that the two were incompatible.
  • As a result, he took seven years to finish his bachelor's degree, but the extra time meant he could explore more classes and majors relevant to his interests.
  • His interest in computer games started when he saw the first computer with a display screen; he knew that would be the way of the future.
  • A man from MIT had developed a game called Spacewar; Nolan was so hooked on it that he'd break into the computer lab at night to play.
  • At the same time, he was working a minimum wage job at an amusement park; the combination of amusement games and computers would become his life's work.
  • Once computer costs came down to attainable numbers, he started developing his computer games, most notably, one called Pong.
  • Realized Pong was going to be a huge hit when their first test arcade machine stopped working...because it was too full of quarters.
  • He's now pivoted to work on educational games; his goal is to be able to teach kids "quickly, efficiently, and without putting them to sleep."

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