Having heroically declared that all modern games are rubbish just the other week, Atari founder Nolan Bushnell has gone back on his comments to some extent and paid tribute to Tetris, The Sims, Spore, Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero as laudable examples of innovation.
Bushnell had said, you may remember, that "Video games today are a race to the bottom", describing them generally as "pure, unadulterated trash" that made him "sad". Speaking to GameTap, Bushnell clarified his stance. "What I have consistently been concerned about is sort of the repetition and the lack of innovation," he explained. "Innovation is one of those things that I value very highly, and I just find that as much as I applaud the beautiful, fantastic production guys of Halo 3, it's really Doom 1 in different clothing."
Bushnell also attacked the Grand Theft Auto series, which "not only doesn't teach you anything, it teaches you the wrong things" and "values antisocial behaviour". Rubbish jumping animation, too.
Ultimately, his core argument is that innovation is largely absent from modern videogame development - something he extends to console hardware manufacturers too, whinging about the PS3 but celebrating the Wii - and he rejects the interviewer's assertion that in business, "it's almost impossible to ask that level of sort of creativity and that rapid evolution". "Not true," Bushnell responds. "Let me tell you...you know, the knives that kill innovation are the editors. Too many of the innovative ideas are killed at the decision-making stage of what is going to be produced."
Check out the rest of the interview for Bushnell's reflections on games like Tetris, for which he has a tremendous admiration, and the rest of his reaction to the reaction.