General blogging Internet and technology Videogames

On Adam Orth, EA and the angry Internet mobs


Dear people of the Internet,

What an exciting week it has been! Look at all that you have accomplished in such a short amount of time.

First, the big, evil games conglomerate EA has been voted the worst company in the US for the second year in a row. That will teach them not to mess with our games by adding stupid DRM systems, trying to force their online PC games store Origin on us and crushing the dreams of so many people who wanted a proper ending for Mass Effect 3.

And you also managed to get the arrogant Adam Orth out of his position as Creative Director at Microsoft. Hah! How could a person defending so fervently the always-on policy of that “next generation console” have a position like that at Microsoft? Well, now he’s out of the company thanks to the fair people of the Internet!

That’s two wins in a row for you this week! Right?


Or is this a major display of what the angry mobs of the Internet can achieve when they get annoyed at something? Because to me this is the closest thing I can imagine to a father buying his little kid a bag full of candy because he kept screaming and yelling and crying in the middle of the store until he got what he wanted.

But while related, there’s much deeper issues within each case I’ve just mentioned.

First, the case of EA being voted worst company in the US.

Let’s take a moment to look at what makes a company “the worst”. Is it their impact on the world economy? Is it the impact on the environment? The way they treat their customers? The illnesses or deaths it has caused? All those are very valid reasons to rate a company the worst, and I’m not just making them up. These are real issues that companies have been linked to, from banks to electricity companies that have gone from causing instability in the world economy to contaminating the water of an entire area, causing cancer to its population.

But here the Internet got to vote on an open website what they thought was the worst company. And EA came up as the winner. The reasons? Well, there’s many valid arguments for attacking EA. The most recent one being that the new SimCity’s launch was plagued with server connection problems because they had slapped an always-on DRM on the game without any real need to. That means those who bought the game at launch had trouble playing what they had paid for… until the servers got fixed. So those who bought the game can now play it. Sure, it’s still a draconian decision to have this type of online requirement on a single-player game, but this is hardly the kind of issue that causes everyone to hate a company forever.

There’s many other things such as how they push their Origin store on customers, which is definitely not as good as the competition ( but has everyone forgotten how much hate Steam got when it first came out and how it took it a couple of years to start being good?). And there’s the Mass Effect 3 ending which annoyed thousands of gamers worldwide with its ignorance on the player’s actions throughout the series (something that got partially fixed –for free I should add- through free DLC). There’s all the issues with micro-transactions, their constant disregard for what “gamers really want”, and much more.

None of those are crimes noteworthy enough to cause such a huge reaction on an award that pit EA against so many other non-gaming related companies. Because the truth is anyone who is not deeply invested in the games industry does not care about those things. Heck, my parents don’t even know what EA is! The percentage of people truly affected by EA’s decisions is so small that it is baffling to see those problems upscaled that much.

But the gaming community is a very vocal one. When they are angry about something it takes the internet by storm. They know how to work through the web’s social networks and spread the word all over the net. And with the creativity that so many people have to create memes and have them become staples quickly it makes it look as if those are issues that “everyone” in the world knows about.

That’s not truly the case though.

I won’t go much further into this topic, but I’ll close it off with a quote from Forbes about what exactly is this “Worst Company Award”: “It’s a measure of how annoyed the internet is with a certain brand at the moment.”

Oh, and this (fake) letter from Dorkly standing as Peter Moore from EA:


So that’s all of it on the EA case. It’s something that EA will probably react upon but still take lightly as they most probably believe that the poll has little validity.

But then we have the other controversial topic: Adam Orth.

This one is way more worrying than any Internet vote. This is the case of someone losing his job because he made a couple of comments on Twitter.

I have to admit that when I first saw these tweets I was extremely annoyed at Adam Orth.


But there’s a small problem with Twitter. If you jump into someone else’s conversation (because tweets are public after all) there is usually very little context to grab from those short 140-characters long messages.

Is Orth being sarcastic in his last tweet? Is he really looking down on those cities? That’s impossible to tell from just that image, which is the one that got shared all over the Internet through channels such as Reddit. Go a bit further back in their timelines and you will find out that this is not the first time they talk to each other, they’re actually friends to talk to each other in a casual way. That last reply could easily be him joking around.

But of course this is Twitter and it’s public. Even if you have the now-so-typical disclaimer of “opinions are my own” when you have a certain position in a company you have to be careful of what you post and how you say things, because it might involve your company in a bigger way. Some people have argued that he shouldn’t ever post his opinions on Twitter and that he should have sent that to Manveer Heir instead through private messages.

So are we suddenly as users of Twitter censoring what someone can or cannot say publicly online? Check Manveer’s tweets. He’s Senior Gameplay Designer at Bioware, quite a high position to be in the games industry, yet he is one of the most vocal people in the games industry, always expressing his own thoughts and often with a fair amount of personality in them. As he describes himself, he’s a “sarcastic ass”. And nobody has any problem with that! He criticizes lots of games, he criticizes the moves of many companies, and at keynote events he criticizes pretty much every sentence that comes out of the speaker’s mouth.

But guess what? People expect that from him already. His “online persona” has always been like that so if he said something about Bioware with a sarcastic note to it, people would take it happily. Perhaps a few replies with rants, followed by snarky responses from him.

What happened with Adam Orth was not so much a situation of “public personalities should not comment on Twitter their personal views” as it was Orth not having built enough of an online personality to be able to do that. Had he done so before, there would be a lot more context in his tweets for people to understand it. Instead, Orth later on (with Manveer’s help) tried to explain that he was being sarcastic. To which people replied that was a very childish response trying to take away the blame from himself.

The damage is done now though, and Orth is out from Microsoft and with enough media backslash to make finding a new job a real nightmare for him. All because of three tweets in which he is talking to a friend. That escalated quickly! Of course it doesn’t help that the topic of the conversation was the already controversial always-on subject…

In any case it’s really scary to think how fragile our entire careers are now that through social media everyone can react so quickly against you.

I don’t want to defend either EA or Adam Orth for their actions because they did not act their best to be honest. But the Internet should really try to be more careful with their actions as well and try not to look like a kid having a fit.

And most definitely they should not consider this a win, but rather a shameful display of the Internet at its worst.

General blogging Internet and technology Stupid things

Fired for holding a glass of beer on Facebook! – REALLY?

Ashley Payne, 24 years old, as seen on her Facebook album – Photo taken from

Wow. Just WOW! This is exactly the kind of thing that really upsets me. The fact that some people understand so wrong the idea of the distinction between public and private life.

According to in a video report, a 24-year-old public high school teacher in the US has been offered to either resign or be suspended from her job because of one picture she had on Facebook in a trip to Europe.

In her PRIVATE photo album she can be seen visiting some Italian and Spanish bars and, in some of the pictures, she is holding either a beer or a glass of wine. As Ms. Payne herself commented, she just did what any normal adult would do on a vacation trip to Europe.

But one parent didn’t seem to think the same. He somehow managed to see the picture and proceeded to call the high school’s director to complain about it. This led to the accusation against Ashley Payne, who decided to resign.

Have we gone mad?

These are not pictures of a teacher drunk in the middle of the street we are talking about. They are pictures about the normal, private life anyone has.

I can understand that she, as a high school teacher, has certain responsibilities towards the students she educates. But it’s not like she has been publicly posting the photos in the school’s halls or anything. It’s her private Facebook profile, in which she has none of the high school students as a friend, and therefore, they can’t see her pictures at all.

Why, then, is this happening?

It’s not the first time something like this has happened either. I have already heard way too many scared comments from US friends saying that they do not want any pictures of them with a beer close by because it will lower their chances of getting a job, that many companies look at their prospective employees’ Facebook pages before hiring.

Really? Well, yes, it happens. But it makes me think why an employer might be so interested in these things. Are they looking to hire an employee who never drinks? It’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to hire a person who is always partying out and appears to end up in a bad state every time. But getting to such extremes as to decline someone because they have a social life is plain crazy.

And it really worries me that this is happening way too often in the USA. In fact, I really believe that the North-American society should learn a little bit of common sense from the European.

I’ll put myself as an example: I have pictures in parties in Spain, the US and Denmark all alike. In some of the pictures I can be seen holding a drink. Now though, those pictures are not available to everyone, but only to the people I have explicitly allowed to. In any case I am quite public about my personal activities (even though I respect other people’s privacy wishes) and I do not mind if, for example, a teacher of mine sees a picture of me at a party.

Because after all, should a teacher be concerned that a student of his is drinking? If the student is underage of course it should concern the teacher. But otherwise it shouldn’t be as long as the student keeps passing his exams and turning in the homework. The same goes for jobs: if the employee is doing his tasks, what does an employer have to say in the matter of him going out at night?

If you want to hear more on this topic I suggest you watch the following video from in which, besides telling the story of Ashley Payne, also offers some interesting comments about online privacy.

General blogging ITU Copenhagen Me

Crunch – study – crunch

Norreport nevado

Would love to update more often, but the bad weather and the need to study for Monday’s oral exam on Game Design is not letting me do so.

Soon though I will keep up with my blog.

General blogging ITU Copenhagen Me

Back to Copenhagen

Well, there it goes.

The Christmas break is officially over for me now, with me now returning to Copenhagen one week ahead of my Game Design oral exam (for which I have, of course, been preparing these days as well).

But I also come with a couple new ideas both in relation to my Master’s and to this blog.

Right now though the studying comes ahead.

The picture is from New Year’s eve in Jaca.

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

General blogging Me

Happy New Year!


It’s that time of the year again!

Champagne! Delicious meals! A never ending night!

Yes, it’s the beginning of a new year! 2010 is almost finished!

From here I want to wish you all a happy new 2011.

Some of you might have already seen me either in Madrid or in my hometown Ejea, visiting old friends (like Sarah Friedman and Javier Sanz) and family (hey, it’s Christmas, you gotta visit your family, right?).

Now however I’ll be spending the rest of these days in Jaca (in the North of Spain, for skiing) where I’ll also be doing, you guessed right, more visiting. And have fun, of course. I’m getting used to this routine of visiting, visiting and more visiting every end-of-year holidays. It comes with studying abroad I guess.

For those in Copenhagen I will be back on January 11th, getting ready for my Game Design oral exam.

Quite a busy schedule as you can see, but having fun nonetheless.

Once again, have a good start for the upcoming 2011 and make sure you keep your new year’s resolutions Smile

Oh, and thanks to my cousin Laura (on my left) for the cool cousin’s picture from last Christmas Eve Open-mouthed smile

General blogging Internet and technology Me Stupid things

The amazing story of a weird UPS package

Well… this is…. unexpected. And crazy. I’m utterly confused.

Let me explain this weird story in this entry. And please, read all of it to get the full effect.

A couple of days ago I received a small card from UPS in my mailbox. A letter that was, of course, in Danish (you can’t imagine how tired I get of this Danish mail). Good thing my friend (and Mr. Optimistic programmer) Casper was around to translate the letter for me.


Put simply, they had tried to deliver a package for me, but I wasn’t at home when they brought it and they needed me to sign the delivery form (mind the statement in bold). It asked me to phone them to schedule a new delivery.

My first reaction was of surprise. I wasn’t expecting any packages at all. Even more weird, who the heck knew my address in Denmark? I mean, I moved here not too long ago and it’s not like I have been giving out my home address away!

And so I phoned UPS Denmark. The guy who picked up took over 5 minutes to understand that I simply wanted to receive my package. He said it could be delivered the next day, but he couldn’t tell me an approximate time at all. Only that the package might arrive between 9 am and 7 pm. Great. So I would have to stay at home until they came to my house, not being able to go to university (then again I only had to polish some individual projects and I could do that at home).

Well, today I have been waiting for the package to arrive. So when at 2:30 pm I still hadn’t got anything, I decided to go to the UPS website and input the tracking number that came in the letter.

A couple of new surprises here:

1. The package was coming from the US (again, how the heck did anyone in the US get my mail address?)

2. The package was marked as…. ALREADY DELIVERED!

Alright, this is it. I’ve been waiting all morning for a package to arrive, only to find out that it has already been delivered to someone else? So if my signature was needed… how the heck did anyone else receive it?

I phoned UPS again. Gave them the tracking number. And the woman on the phone said… that it had been delivered to one of my neighbors.

Perfect. Just perfect. I started to knock on everyone’s doors around my building, looking like a fool asking for a package they had no idea about.

Until finally the girl living in front of my apartment told me she had it.

Please UPS, how can you deliver a package and give it to the wrong door! I mean, there’s only two doors per floor. Didn’t you even try to check if the name on the door was the right one?

Anyway, let’s check the package. I was all excited now with all it was taking me to get this unknown mystery package!


Here we go. The package is here. Doesn’t say who it is from in the box, it’s all neatly kept hidden under 7 layers of plastic. I don’t care right now. I just want to get the contents once and for all.

Trying to open it… What will there be inside? I swear, these packages are harder to open than a safe box! Almost cut myself with the scissors!

Here it is… I touch something soft inside. I grab and pull it out and I see…..

A t-shirt.

A grey, plain t-shirt. Nothing in the back, nothing in the front. Just that. One L-sized t-shirt (too big for me too!).


Okay… this has to be a joke. All this… FOR A T-SHIRT? And who the heck is sending me a t-shirt all the way from the United States?

Once again I return to the package and I try to tear out the 7 layers of plastic, trying to pull out the letter in which, I hope, it explains all this craziness.

And guess what? It got even more weird. Look at it yourself.



Microsoft is sending me a plan grey oversized t-shirt all the way from the United States. In a package. Really?

More surprising even, the letter says that the item is to be sent to Anchel Labena…. in Texas!

Then I look at the item order on the bottom. “Bing gray V neck T-Shirt” it reads.

Bing? Really?

I immediately go back to the t-shirt and yes, effectively there it is, the Bing logo on the bottom.


I seriously want to bump my head against something hard. Something that tells me that this is just my imagination going wild.

Why Microsoft? Please, explain to me in some way or another why I am receiving a t-shirt too big for me all of a sudden, with no previous notice.

And how the heck did this t-shirt find its way all over from the US to Copenhagen? Especially when the letter inside says it was sent to Texas!

I mean, don’t take me wrong. Thank you Microsoft for sending me a free t-shirt.

But can you please give me an explanation for this?

I am baffled.