Minecraft creator Notch unwelcome at 10th anniversary due to online conduct
Transphobia, homophobia, and racism aren't Microsoft's core values.
PETER BRIGHT - 4/29/2019, 10:12 PM
Blocky sandbox game Minecraft is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Microsoft is planning to celebrate with a press event at the Mojang studio in Stockholm on May 17. But according to Variety, one notable person won't be there: Markus "Notch" Persson, who sold the game he created and the company he built to Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
This is no accident. A Microsoft spokesperson told Variety that the reason for his exclusion is the "comments and opinions" Persson has expressed on Twitter, saying that they "do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang, and are not representative of Minecraft."
Back in March, a number of references to Persson were removed from the game. Microsoft made no statement at the time, but it's believed to be for the same reason.
Since becoming a billionaire, Persson has earned something of a bad reputation. Shortly before the in-game references were removed, he made such family-friendly tweets as "I'd rather be a fascist cunt than have a feminine dick" (though this was subsequently deleted), and he has tweeted endorsements of both the Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracy theories. He has propagated the false claim that people face fines for "using the wrong pronouns" to refer to trans people. Persson has also tweeted right-wing slogans such as "It's OK to be white," and he's said that anyone who recognizes systemic racial biases and imbalance within Western society is racist. In 2017, he tweeted, "If you're against the concept of a #HeterosexualPrideDay, you're a complete fucking cunt and deserve to be shot," though this, too, was subsequently deleted.
Persson's name can still be found within the credits of the game, but this appears to be the full extent of the association Microsoft wishes to have with him.
Even this phenomenon is not global: 27 percent of Bulgarian and Romanian IT specialists are women, with some arguing that this is a legacy of the communist era, when women and men alike were encouraged to be engineers. In India and Malaysia around 50 percent of computer science undergraduates are women.
Moreover, there's some evidence that diverse teams perform better, as do groups that embrace "outsiders." Such results suggest that diversity for its own sake is something to strive for.
So the Microsoft employee's "established fact" that women are underrepresented in software engineering because they're just not interested seems to be anything but. Entrenched (if unconscious) sexism, systematic promotion of science, technology, and engineering as being "for boys," and workplaces in which women are routinely harassed, overlooked, and discredited with little or no recourse are far better attested to than any particular lack of interest.
A reckoning for the industry as a whole
The recent dissent at Microsoft brings to mind a similar memo that went viral within Google in 2017. That memo argued that there were relevant biological differences between men and women, and this is why relatively few women work at Google. The author of the memo, James Damore, was subsequently fired. He complained to the National Labor Relations Board and sued Google. Both the complaint with the NLRB and lawsuit have been subsequently dropped, with Damore seeking remedy through private arbitration instead. Though the NLRB complaint was dropped prior to a verdict being delivered, the NLRB nonetheless published a memo stating that Damore's firing was legal.
Microsoft, by contrast, is said to have taken little or no action in response to the message board postings. This inaction is itself drawing criticism, with one employee telling Quartz that "HR, Satya, all the leadership are sending out emails that they want to have an inclusive culture, but they're not willing to take any action other than talk about it."
You know what? I agree, this is unsettlingly similar to how Disney goes to extreme Orwellian lengths to sanitize their namesake's history. You changed my mind, fuck Microsoft...again!On one hand, Notch really likes to get into the shit with people on Twitter, so from a PR perspective I can kinda get wanting to distance yourself away from the guy who will bait about shit like Jews.
On the other hand, removing any mention of him from the game he created is kinda, well, y'know...
He only really helped fine tune the gameplay and made the harvester mechs in the game.Kojima’s a megalibfag who works with the HZD devs, that ship’s already sailed