Xbox Creator Almost Got Fired For Saying Gaming Is Like Masturbating

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The creator of Xbox, Seamus Blackley, was almost fired back in 2001 for comparing gaming to masturbating.

In a Twitter interaction today, a user shared a reported quote from Bloomberg journalist Dina Bass, which read, “Gaming is like masturbation. Everybody does it, nobody wants to talk about it.” Replying to this, Bass said that this was her quoting something Seamus Blackley said in the fall of 2001, weeks ahead of the original Xbox launch.

After this interaction, the Xbox creator himself took to Twitter to admit, “This quote nearly got me fired from Microsoft.” He elaborated a bit more in the thread, saying that it was a quote that “some conservative spouses of executives read it and… I was summoned to building 4 shall we say.”

Looking back, there are more tweets between Blackley and Bass discussing the quote. In 2019, Blackley thanked fans of the original Xbox, to which Bass replied, “What about those of us who got to interview you as you expounded on your theory of how gaming is like masturbation? (Which my editor would NOT let me put in a story no matter how I tried).”

At the time, Blackley said he got in “A LOT OF TROUBLE” for his comment and “Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates were VERY upset” at him.

Following the announcement that Microsoft would be buying Activision Blizzard–pending regulatory approval–for nearly $70 billion, Blackley came out and said that he was “sickened” by the news because of how it connects to the ongoing issues at Activision Blizzard regarding its company culture.

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