Adam Orth Talks About ‘The Internet Hate Phenomenon’, Recalls Xbox One ‘Deal With It’ Controversy
“Life is too short to worry about anonymous internet activity.”
Former Microsoft employee Adam Orth, who rose to fame thanks to his “Deal With It” Twitter messages that were seen as an arrogant defence for the Xbox One’s always-online policy, recently gave a talk to industry insiders at GDC 2014, and talked about his own experiences- how he became an “internet hate phenomenon” and how he dealt with it.
Orth resigned from Microsoft just four days after he made the comments over Twitter, went into hiding, and due to threats that his finances would be disrupted, he restructured his bank accounts. He had also been receiving death threats that targeted his family and himself, so he also had to move and find a new place to live.
“I was becoming the next victim of the internet hate phenomenon. It was an absolute feeding frenzy,” Orth said. “My public and private life was fair game.”
“People began to distance themselves from me,” he continued. “I was dejected, ashamed and embarrassed. I destroyed my career and feared being blacklisted by the industry. I went from income to no income.
“The reason that internet threats are terrifying is not the possibility of the realization of a violent act; it’s that society has regressed to a point that this behavior and discourse is an acceptable and expected response to something someone doesn’t like or agree with.”
“An industry we’ve become desensitised to this insane behavior because it’s overwhelming, ubiquitous and unstoppable,” Orth said. He later quoted another dev who had personally said to him, “I just don’t want to make games for these people anymore.”
Orth, however, said that game developers should not stop developing games and doing what they love just because of abuse and hate over the internet. “Be the shining example to inspire others to action,” he said, “Never forget the joy you get or that you give by illuminating it with video games.
“Life is too short to worry about anonymous internet activity. You have to look inward and block it out. What they are saying is a reflection of their life, not yours. Fighting back on their level is pointless. Eventually they tire out. Keep building, keep dreaming.”
Thanks, GI Biz