I don't think Adam Orth should have resigned or have been fired over what he said on twitter, but what he did was still dumb. Even within his 140 character limit constraint the message was pretty obvious. He doesn't mention Neogaf specifically, but it is safe to say that Clifford wasn't browsing the IGN boards or GameFAQs. Also apparently if you have a bad internet connection then you just need to wait for your country to get some badass internet.
“Deal With It”
Yesterday reports that Adam Orth, the guy who somehow caused this shitstorm, is no longer at Microsoft.
Let’s pay attention to the wording here. Resigned. Not fired.
Now, beyond all of the use of the impact font and the “Haha let’s make an internet meme out of this guy we’ve never met” let’s also remember that what happened between Adam and his employer is now between the two of them. His comments may have exploded on the internet, but it’s actually quite possible that he was eyeing a departure, or he was getting bad reviews, or was tired of the perpetual overcast nature of the Pacific Northwest and timing may have been right for him to move on.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When someone leaves a company there’s what publicly is stated and there’s what really happened.
And you’re likely to never, ever know it.
I have never met Adam, but I have friends who know him and have told me first hand that he’s a good guy. Maybe he’s got a mortgage. Maybe he has kids. Bills to pay, just like you and I.
It’s awfully easy to sit on an anonymous forum or venue and sling mud at someone who has put themselves out there. Show me a person who hasn’t said something dumb or incorrect or yes, even cocky on the internet and he should cast the first stone.
We’ve all been there.
Let’s also keep in mind that Adam was not an official spokesperson for Microsoft.
But, Cliff, as an employee of a large company you should know better?
But if I departed from Epic every time I said something dumb I wouldn’t have made it the last 10 years there. (P.S. Mike Capps was right…the Wii was a virus after all.)People make mistakes and sometimes it’s hard to actually convey a proper emotion, intent or meaning in 140 characters. (Hell if I had a nickel for every email that was misinterpreted when I was at Epic.)
Now, I don’t know as much as you’d think I know about Microsoft’s future plans. Even if I did I wouldn’t go blogging about it like some sort of fool.
My gut is telling me that an always online future is probably coming. It’s coming fast, and possibly to the majority of the devices you enjoy. Adam’s analogies weren’t that far off; although the vacuum one was kind of weird. Sim City, with all of its’ troubles on launch, seems to be selling briskly. Diablo 3, the poster child of a messy launch, is estimated to be at 12 million units. (Remember the internet rage over the art style shift? I barely do. But it seemed so important at the time!) I would bet money that without the always online elements of Diablo 3 that it would have sold half of that.
“I’m so angry about this game treating me like a thief!” ::alt tabs over to bit torrent::
Remember when Microsoft made the decision to only allow broadband on Xbox Live? It was a bold move back then; broadband penetration wasn’t anywhere near what it is now. And yet the march of progress continued. Sooner or later our government, or Google, or any number of providers are going to get their shit together and we’ll have universally fast internet for the majority of the first world.
Or at least the ability to stream Dawson’s Creek on fucking Netflix at decent quality.
And here’s the thing. I’d be willing to say that any early adopter for any new piece of technology is probably going to have some sort of solid internet connection. Also, and I’ve stated this before, keeping that umbilical cord connected might not always require some sort of insane fat pipe. Sometimes just 3G might be enough.
Even then, it doesn’t matter. If you’re on a forum raging about Adam’s comments there’s a whole new generation of kids who are growing up always online who won’t really give a shit. And all that anger, all of that vitrol, all of that lynch mobbing that the internet seems to love to do lately will be for naught and forgotten.
My wife and I were discussing these issues this afternoon and she mentioned the example of “Hey what if I’m a gamer who wants to go to a cabin in the woods for a week and I don’t have online access there?” My response was “Unplugging entirely sometimes isn’t always a bad thing. And that’s the edge case…the week-long vacation to the cabin is only 30 hours of not playing a game or a device that’s built for much more.
Technology doesn’t advance by worrying about the edge case.
If a service is good then people don’t mind paying for it. My Ipad is always connected because I love browsing Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. I love the ecosystem of Itunes and the App store. If the ecosystem of an always connected device is fantastic then suddenly people don’t really seem to notice any more. When electricity came along and people had to have meters attached to their house they didn’t mind because they loved the idea of light bulbs, electric ranges, and refrigeration.
If we don’t have devices that aren’t fully always online you can bet your ass that we’ll have devices that encourage you to return to the online ecosystem in order to “check in” and make sure everything on the system is legit. Could you hack/jailbreak such a device? Sure, but that crowd will almost always be the die hard/enthusiast crowd that’s not the average user and makes up a small percentage of the potential sales.
“Well that escalated quickly.”
I find it disgusting that an online community would revel in the fact that they may have potentially contributed to a person losing their job. Even then, if they didn’t have anything to do with it at the end of the day, that they have the collective ego to think that they could do that. In a world of Indie-go-go and Kickstarter, where we can do great things in numbers, we should know better.
I’d rather live in a world where someone can slip up, say something that the world doesn’t agree with, and not have the collective internet lynch mob up their ass.
Well behaved people rarely make history.
Deal with it.
Edit: I am an idiot. Here is the link to the blogpost.