Young adults love to play games and they're thirsty for social interaction, but a lot of bar and restaurant experiences are quite unsatisfactory on the social level. What young people need is a place that has the feel of an unhosted party where they find themselves interacting with like-minded strangers.
The subtle generational cues that make one thing cool and another uncool aren't always obvious to a parent. My children are my dinner-table sounding board. I've come up with some wonderful ideas that they universally dismissed as 'lame.'
These days when you say 'videogame', people think of immersive games that take over your life and require three thumbs to control. My goal is to create games that almost retreat into the background. I'm interested in bringing them back to their role as a social facilitator, the way party games help people to interact.
When I was running Atari, violence against humanoid figures was not allowed. We'd let you shoot at a tank... but we drew the line at shooting at people, with blood splattering everywhere.
Atari showed that young people could start big companies. Without that example it would have been harder for Jobs and Bill Gates, and people who came after them, to do what they did.
I founded Atari in my garage in Santa Clara while at Stanford. When I was in school, I took a lot of business classes. I was really fascinated by economics. You end up having to be a marketeer, finance maven and a little bit of a technologist in order to get a business going.
Women were very, very good at 'Pong'. It was part of the dating scene. The number of people who told me they met their wife or husband playing 'Pong' was huge. They were shoulder to shoulder, talking and playing. It was body contact and verbal contact.
We didn't do a square ball in 'Pong' because we thought it was cool. We did it because that was all we could do.
In the early days of the video game business, everybody played. The question is, what happened? My theory - and I think it's pretty well borne out - is that in the '80s, games got gory, and that lost the women. And then they got complex, and that lost the casual gamer.
Radical innovation is difficult to fund. It seems scary. And the really radical things seem even more scary.
I think 'Something Ventured' is a nice piece because it celebrates venture capital in a unique and powerful way.
I basically look at PR as something you do if there's an object in mind. But my ego doesn't need it.
Today, companies have to radically revolutionize themselves every few years just to stay relevant. That's because technology and the Internet have transformed the business landscape forever. The fast-paced digital age has accelerated the need for companies to become agile.
Creativity is every company's first driver. It's where everything starts, where energy and forward motion originate. Without that first charge of creativity, nothing else can take place.
One of the big concerns I have is that most of the HR departments in a lot of companies are hiring away from creativity and they don't know it. For instance, they are requiring everybody to have a college degree. The most creative people I know couldn't deal with college.
The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.
Hire for passion and intensity; there is training for everything else.
A lot of what is wrong with corporate America has to do with a culture filled with antibodies trained to expel anything different. HR departments often want cookie cutter employees, which inevitably results in cookie cutter solutions.
Everybody believes in innovation until they see it. Then they think, 'Oh, no; that'll never work. It's too different.'
I want to fix education in the world. As soon as I work on that, I am going to work on world hunger and then world peace.
Selling Atari when I did - I think that's my biggest regret. And I probably should have gotten back heavily into the games business in the late Eighties. But I was operating under this theory at the time that the way to have an interesting life was to reinvent yourself every five or six years.
Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.
I guess I'd like to be known for being an innovator, fostering creativity, thinking outside the box. You know, keeping people playful.
I've always thought legal addictions are a great way to create a business. Starbucks is a wonderful example.
Everybody copied Atari products. So we started messing with them and it was fun. We bought enough chips that we could get them mislabeled. So we bankrupted at least two companies which copied our boards, and bought all the parts but they were the wrong parts, so they're sitting on all this inventory they can't sell because the games don't work.
A good interviewer is able to ferret out what the applicant is really passionate about. Ask them what they do for fun, what they're reading, try and find out if they have a life outside of work.
In 1989, SimCity introduced an entirely new brand of game play.
Learning ballroom dancing is great for your brain. But it only works for three to six months. After that, you've got all the benefit you can get, and so you have to move on to yoga, and then Tai Chi, and then bridge, always keeping on the steep part of the learning curve.
The thing we don't want to do is overstate the benefits, but there is all kinds of proof that exercise, both physical and mental, increases brain activity.
I've been in navigation systems, robotics, restaurants, communications systems, touch screens, and now I'm back in games. I like to say I have five-year A.D.D.
People like secrets. Creative people really like secrets.
I just want the future to happen faster. I can't imagine the future without robots.
I try to get a vision of the future, and then I try to figure out where the discontinuities are.
There are a lot of things about having money that are perceived to be cool but that aren't. Maybe if you're a CEO jerk who likes going coast to coast by himself in a G4, then that's fine. But that's not me. And it never will be.
Innovation is hard. It really is. Because most people don't get it. Remember, the automobile, the airplane, the telephone, these were all considered toys at their introduction because they had no constituency. They were too new.
Remember that we can only in our forebrains handle 5-7 items. Our backbrains can handle massive amounts. So when you're given a problem, think about it before you go sleep, and chances are you can solve it by the next morning.
Walk to work, even if it's four miles. Ride a bike to work. Drive a different way. On your way there, try to find beauty. You'd be surprised how much more of the neighborhood you can perceive and experience when you're looking for unique spots of beauty.
You wanna build your IQ higher in the next two years? Be uncomfortable. That means, learn something where you have a beginner's mind.
I'm the only one who was predicting the Nintendo Wii would beat Sony's PlayStation 3.
All schools will end up using game metrics in the future.