It was an unprecedented moment in the history of Atari fandom, and it happened over the past few days. After, it was announced last week that Nolan Bushnell would join the board of directors of Atari SA, the message boards at Atariage.com lit-up with excitement and terror.
Some Atari fans were happy, others, who had darker feelings for Nolan Bushnell, were not so happy. It was a standard, run-of-the-mill internet forums argument. Names were called, guys with “inside info” spoke out, people stated that their childhoods were destroyed, etc. It would have stayed that way, until something really weird happened.
Nolan Bushnell showed-up. Using the name NolanB, a user that knew far too much started to defend himself. Some people thought it was actually Nolan Bushnell’s son. However, soon, another Atari personality showed-up, Ted Dabney, followed by legendary coin-op designer Owen R. Rubin. All called-in to both defend Nolan Bushnell, and clear-up inconsistencies. Some were cleared-up, others were not. Nolan B. was confirmed as the real, myth making Nolan Bushnell. History was made.
Eventually Atari co-founder Ted Dabney, a guy who has not had much press about Atari since he left (or was kicked-out) got his own thread and his own love.
It was a very weird and wonderful time for Atari fans. Even Albert, the owner of AtariAge.com seemed both bewildered and excited about the events. If you have any interest in Atari or Atari history, I suggest that you go on over to some of these links and start reading.
It’s simply fascinating.