Friday Flame Wars: Sorry, Mr. Orth?
Friday Flame Wars is a recurring feature on Game Front. We present a hot-button issue and then encourage a
no-holds-barred commenting battle royale healthy debate within our community.
Former Microsoft Game Studios Creative Director Adam Orth resigned this week, apparently as a result of things he said on Twitter.
The Orth story is something of a familiar one, in which a person who’s something of a public figure, or at the very least representative of a company, makes public comments on Twitter and kicks up a commotion. In Orth’s case, the subject was the possibility of an always-online Xbox console to pop up this year. The trouble wasn’t that Orth advocated an always-online console, but that he was a bit of a jerk about it, marginalizing people with legitimate complaints about Internet connectivity and living in rural areas. You can read the tweets here.
Apparently, what Orth said got some people pretty angry, and within a few days, the backlash had caused Microsoft to issue a statement apologizing for his comments and to say that Orth was not a spokesperson for the company. Not long after that, he was out at Microsoft completely.
Orth’s story demonstrates something of a cautionary tale about mouthing off on the Internet for all to see, but then again, did the punishment fit the crime? Sure, a lot of us are upset about always-on requirements — they limit paying customers’ abilities to access the things for which they’ve paid. But Orth is definitely not alone in his viewpoint on always-on, and he wasn’t even that mean? Did he deserve to be made to resign?
This is where you come in. Let us know what you think in the comments: Did Orth deserve to get shuffled off, or did the Internet (and Microsoft) overreact and cost a guy his job?