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Ex-Microsoft dev Adam Orth giving lecture at GDC 2014

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Former Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth will reprise his Game Developers Conference Next talk in an expanded form at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, the show's organizers announced this week.

Orth left Microsoft Studios in April 2013, four days after raising the ire of the entire internet with a series of tweets in which he dismissed concerns about always-on consoles. The subsequent backlash manifested in a torrent of online hate directed at Orth, including threats to his family through messages on social networks as well as emails and phone calls. As a result, he moved his family to Southern California, where he is now working at a new company called Three One Zero.

GDC Next last November was the first time Orth publicly spoke about the episode. He recounted the story and said that while he stood by his original tweets and his right to post them, he regrets the way he aired his opinions. In addition, he used his experience as a way to advocate for people and companies who stand up to the epidemic of online harassment.

Orth will expand on his thoughts in a GDC 2014 session, "Mob Rules: The Destructive Power of Opinion and Online Community." The lecture will highlight those making a positive effort to combat online abuse, and discuss what developers can do to encourage positive behavior.

For more on the harassment that game developers receive on the internet, check out our report from August.

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