Original post and comments from Atari Museum’s facebook group here.
I dislike facebook and wanted a snapshot of this.
Yesterday at 8:55am
In Regards to the GDC decision of Nolan Bushnell…
I am deleting the post that was put up from Verge, the article is clearly slanted and highly inaccurate, misleading and border on defamatory.
No one is to post any further regarding this matter EXCEPT any female Atari employee’s who would like to publicly state their recounting and position on this matter. So Carol Kantor Loni Reeder and as many other Atari employees who are part of this group and other Atari Museum related groups, you are welcome to comment and post.
It not for the armchair judges to make such accussations against Nolan, they weren’t there, they didn’t live during these times (heck, some of the editors of those articles weren’t even born at the time!) and they no right whatsoever to make such unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations against Nolan or the culture of Atari during its 70s and 80s years.
Many know that Nolan and I have been at odds in the past regarding historical accuracy, so much so he and I stopped talking for some time. Given that, I am stating here now that #IstandwithNolan and I have researched Atari these past 33 years, I worked there myself for 10 years and I spent with my good friend Marty Goldberg over 8 years intensely researching every aspect of Atari and of Nolan. I have things from his past - high school yearbook, real estate documents, negative films from various Atari events, things even Nolan himself no longer has.
I have never EVER in all of my years EVER in speaking with countless dozens of female employees ever heard any of them ever say they were ever uncomfortable, humiliated or assaulted by any other Atari employee or Nolan for that matter.
Yes, I have been privy to many inside private stories of sexual exploits by both make and female employees. Atari was a very free wheeling place, it even in later years had a co-ed hot tub in its engineer building (1272).
This talk of sexual assault is completely false and wrong. So I’m putting to a stop to it at least here in this group and I would hope other groups will follow and have some respect and decency and stop falling into the “Condemn first, find out the facts later” mentality that is perverting our day to day lives.
If anyone has an issue with my position and stance, unjoin the group.
Curt Vendel ONLY POST COMMENTS IF YOU ARE A FEMALE ATARI EMPLOYEE
Loni Reeder I have to leave for a meeting shortly, but I will be writing something extensive about this when I return. I’m a woman… and my working affiliation with Nolan is extensive - but to immediately address the comment from Evan Koblentz - in this regard pertaining to Nolan - there is ZERO sexual assault or abuse - and the alleged journalist did not do their due diligence.
Joe Decuir I am disqualified, being male, but I was there. I have zero first, second or third information to support any allegations of assault or abuse against Nolan. I would like to hear from Loni and other women who were there.
Loni Reeder I’m editing my words right now… I tend to get way too wordy and it’s turning into a mega novella. 😂
Elaine Shirley Curt, Adam posted above what I said to Replay but I will be happy to share a few of my comments again. I worked for Atari from 73-99. I was there during the Nolan era.. It was the 70’s, we had fun. To my knowledge, no one ever did anything they did not want to do. At Atari, there was NO hostile work environment. The GDC should ask the women that actually worked there during that time. I support Nolan getting the award. Geez, next they will be pulling awards given to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the WHO.. It was a different time.
Curt Vendel This is why I asked if only female employees would care to comment. I think people should publicly hear from them since they were there at the time and put a stop to this guilty first court of public opinion kangaroo court.
Elaine Shirley Curt Vendel, ask the ladies on our Atari Coin-Op page for comments. Many of them were there during the Nolan era.
Loni Reeder Elaine Shirley ooohhhh - great idea!
Chris Maddox I worked there then. I never had or seen any problems!
Loni Reeder So…. let’s take a step back and look at the overall situation:
It started with a 38 year old disgruntled ‘uber feminist’ woman/game designer from Massachusetts running for Congress who had a less than stellar experience in the predominantly male-dominated video game space, resulting in what came to be known as ‘GamerGate.’
Using the ‘MeToo’ movement and a moment in time for which she had no firsthand knowledge…………
And with zero complaints lodged against Nolan or complaints about the work culture by employees working at Atari during that time………..
And based on archival newspaper and magazine interviews with Nolan and others chatting about a work environment, time and culture that existed 40 years ago………
A work environment everyone - men and women - happily worked in TOGETHER… and partied in TOGETHER (or didn’t party in - there was no pressure and no judgement)…. an environment that has resulted in decades-long friendships, marriages, ‘little Atarians,’ business partnerships and frequent reunions……… providing us with amazing memories, and for most of us, spending the rest of our work careers attempting to replicate the MAGIC of the Camelot that we were lucky enough to work at.
By arming herself with a topical movement and being personally disgruntled and ‘offended’ by an environment existing 40 years ago which she played no part in - an environment she had ZERO first hand knowledge of………. and ‘intimating’ those of us who worked with or around Nolan, Al (Alcorn), the Gene’s (Lipkin and Landrum), Joe (Keenan), Steve (Bristow) and the rest of ‘Mahogany Row’ had been sexually assaulted, abused and disrespected by (in her estimation) abominations to the male species…….
Yes, based on her political aspirations, personal assumptions and libelous accusations against a man where no complaints have been raised or filed - she made a big, unfounded noise against Nolan - and the ‘Pioneer Award’ honor was withdrawn.
Atari was a large corporation with many facilities… but I worked in Corporate Headquarters, interfaced with every department in the company as a part of Communications, Security and Facilities groups……. and in being ‘adopted’ by the Coin-op and Industrial Design groups, I also spent a great deal of time in the Engineering (‘hot tub’) building, which would be the two locations where most of the fun and craziness occurred.
From my vantage point and having a first-person perspective of this time and the Atari environment, what has been done to Nolan is falsely mischaracterizing him for a lifestyle that did no harm or wrong to anyone.
Nolan created a company environment which opened the doors to many women into a field where they were never included before: HI TECH. Nolan never discriminated on any level and gave everyone a chance to prove on their own merits that they could be a part of Atari. From soldering boards to building arcade cabinets, drawing schematics and artwork to working on the assembly line.
For me personally, Nolan was the final word in my being hired at Atari - my first full-time job after college… he continued his belief in me years later, when we cofounded uWink in Los Angeles where I became an ‘equally compensated’ Vice President.
Nolan never profiled a person by their gender as to whether or not they were a fit for the job. He based his decision on the person’s skill, ability and passion for the job - because of that belief, we always rose to the occasion! We were a bonded teamship… AND A FAMILY.
Atari also saw a woman - the amazing Carol Shaw - go on to fame!
For me, and I’m sure for other women who will weigh in……. while this ‘feminazi congresswoman wanna-be’ may believe she is doing ‘Atari womankind’ a favor, in reality, she has done us a disservice by creating victims where there were none.
Personally, I am extremely angered by her words and conduct in this matter… not just for Nolan, but for the women of Atari - all of us!
We ALL were, and remain to this day extremely strong and intelligent women…… and there isn’t any ‘man’ who would dare take advantage of us (not if they intended to procreate in the future!).
My other anger is the callous and unnecessary hurt I’m sure this matter has inflicted on Nancy and their kids and grandkids.
Finally… by not doing their due diligence before terminating the honor, the GDC did a disservice to Nolan, to my fellow Atarians - and to the truth.
Nolan was extremely gracious in this matter via his tweet… Hopefully the GDC will right this misstep on their part at some point in the future.
Curt Vendel Removing my comment. Let female employees discuss.
Loni Reeder Well it’s inappropriate to stage a publicity stunt when it involves someone’s life and reputation… less the impact that this may be having on Nolan’s wife, children and grandchildren, as I mentioned.
Loni Reeder Rob Triplett - I am repulsed by the statements she’s made on Twitter.
Rob Triplett Loni Reeder Wu is special. Saddest thing is seeing an opportunistic nobody use this chance to chop at the legs of someone who worked and achieved a lifetime of milestones. It also serves to weaken this #metoo movement by trying to ride it’s coattails.
Loni Reeder Rob Triplett - this is a HUGE issue. The #MeToo movement is vital and critical and must be able to be free of #Nothingburger fodder like what’s happened here at the hands of Ms. Wu. It dilutes the legitimate wrongs that have been done to girls, boys, …See more
Like · 3 · 2 February at 11:53
Loni Reeder Rob Triplett - Aside from Wu, there is a very angry game designer on twitter (Jennifer Scheurle) who claims to have names and stories about Nolan, but wouldn’t provide them and deemed me an enemy to women in the video game industry (AND to the #MeToo …See more
Brian Wiklem …and then this pops up . https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/02/the-deanbeat-with-bushnell-award-history-became-herstory/
The DeanBeat: With Bushnell award, history became herstory
Loni Reeder Brian Wiklem - I know Dean… Nolan and I met with him years back when multiplayer gaming was just taking hold. He’s an awesome guy… and I understand the fine line he’s attempting to walk with this subject matter.
Like · 1 · Yesterday at 10:07
Loni Reeder Brian Wiklem - I agree… And I may approach Dean privately on this matter and see if he might want to do another piece on this, taking into consideration all of our first person experiences.
If you have read Brianna’s Twitter, it doesn’t appear she is getting much support in this matter… And in fact, she has backtracked and is now playing victim and being apologetic.
Loni Reeder This is from Curt Vendel’s Atari Museum page… someone shared it on Twitter.
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Loni Reeder Based on the ‘beating’ I took last night on Twitter from this woman, I believe this discussion is ramping up, versus winding down.
We had a back-and-forth for quite a while… And she kept claiming that she had names and stories from women who worked at Atari that were compromised, but she was unwilling to provide me with that information, stating that I was ‘unworthy’ to have that information… stating that I was harmful to abuse victims and that I was a detriment to the #MeToo movement.
… even to the point of discounting the fact that I am ALSO a ME TOO survivor, from a different period in time.
From what I can gather… There are a lot of women working in the video game industry who have been held back in their professional pursuits and/or sexually assaulted in the process of trying to get ahead in their profession… But they are attempting to hold Nolan RESPONSIBLE for the actions of others, based on the Atari ‘lore’ - which was a crazy, fun time… but as in people playing the game of ‘telephone’ - I’m guessing even THAT was embellished for the (at that time) ‘coolness factor.’
Carol Kantor I stand by my previous post… there was much that would be considered inappropriate today but at the time it was mostly laughable and in poor taste sometimes but not to be categorized as sexual harassment or abusive to women at the time. We were all encouraged to be social and have fun in our work.
Loni Reeder Exactly… It was what it was for that moment in time… Obviously, in the 21st Century, it’s a whole different world that we live in now (for better or worse) and a ‘70’s Atari’ was a company that people who weren’t even living at that time can’t wrap their minds around as having NOT been offensive to anyone.
Perhaps a politically incorrect work environment by today’s standards, but yet these same outraged people will embrace The Simpsons or read Mad Magazine.
I agree with Curt that this was a political stunt… and it’s a shame that a libelous assumption from someone looking to score brownie points to gain a seat in DC would do this at the expense of someone uncharged and unaccused.
Cecile Wood-Leguillon Loni, I couldn’t have said it better. I worked at Atari in the 1272 Engineering Bldg for almost 8 years in the 1970s and 1980s. I was the Engineering Services Manager under Ed Avila and Steve Bristow. I Managed 3 departments and traveled to off site locations for training. (19 employees in the Drafting, Design Checking and Document Control Departments half of them women.) Working closely with the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Software Engineers, Art Departments, Industrial Design and upper Management. I never felt threatened at any time during my career. I was encouraged and supported in every way. All the employees worked very hard to get the job done often with rigid time constraints. . Yes, there were well deserved courtyard parties, lots of pot, fun in the hot tub, invites to Nolans home for the most fabulous company parties. All the women who worked in Engineering were strong willed hard working determined women. It was a long time ago and yes a more relaxed time. I was and still am very proud to have worked with all the Atari staff, especially Nolan Bushnell.
Loni Reeder Cecile Wood-Leguillon - and your name is so familiar, so I know that we’ve run into each other or hung out or something at some point.
(… and there’s that name - I miss Steve Bristow - such an awesome man) 😢
Cecile Wood-Leguillon One other thing, I am always saddened when I hear of old time Atari employees passing. So many of us worked so close together we were like family. Is there a In Memoriam list ? I know of Roy Nishi, Walt Brunz, Ed Avila, Jim Ray and Steve Bristow. There are sadly many more. Thanks again for your post.
Loni Reeder Cecile Wood-Leguillon - It was AND IS ‘family’ - I don’t think that will ever change. Elaine Shirley — do you know of a list? (I always come to you for the real info - I seem to remember more names, but I am drawing a blank at the moment - didn’t we also lose John Anderson from corporate? Maybe Gene Landrum too?)
Elaine Shirley Loni Reeder , yes we had a list of deceased Atarians at the 40th and Dan read their names.. I know of at least 7-10 that needed to be added. We decided not to do this at the last reunion. I guess when we have the 50th, we can have an area where we have photos of our friends that have passed.
Loni Reeder Elaine Shirley - hoping that is a very small wall…
Tanja King Loni Reeder and Carol Kantor I couldn’t have said it better myself. You touched on all the areas that were bothering me also. I am proud of the years that I spent at Atari and proud of the relationships that I have maintained over the years. I too felt extremely disrespected by the comments made by that wu woman. We were all young and full of dreams for the future. Never once did I ever feel violated or assaulted by men or women. It was a fun place to work and I cherish the memories.
Loni Reeder The BEST memories, right? Soooooo many are envious that we got to live that slice of history. I never take my good fortune for granted. I learned so much and the company certainly produced a slew of strong, successful women - that doesn’t happen if you’re abused and oppressed.
Tanja King Loni Reeder yes the best ever. And I have not been able to duplicated the family atmosphere at any other job. I so take offense with that woman who says differently (Wu). I cherish my memories and she can’t take that away from me. As for nolan he was nothing but friendly to me.
Loni Reeder Tanja King - I got an email out of the blue today from Nolan (we haven’t chatted in a long time), telling me how appreciative and thankful he is for all of our support… so we all keep fighting the good fight, and make sure that ‘Wu’s Word’ is not the FINAL WORD!
Tanja King Loni Reeder is there anyway these posts can get sent to the gdc?
Loni Reeder Let’s ask that question: Curt Vendel - are they aware of our words of support?
Curt Vendel Loni Reeder Eyes are watching… I’ve made the right persons aware.
Loni Reeder https://www.oneangrygamer.net/2018/02/ataris-former-female-employees-reproach-brianna-wu-gdc-denigrating-nolan-bushnell/50572/