Xbox Creator Almost Got Fired For Saying Gaming Like Masturbating

A young Blackley seen playing an Xbox in his office.

Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

In 2001, one of the main creators of the original Xbox console, Seamus Blackley, compared gaming to masturbation. Apparently, that didn’t go over well with Bill Gates and other senior Microsoft executives. According to Blackley, he nearly got fired for the quote.

Recently on Twitter, someone pointed out a quote from Bloomberg journalist Dina Bass who said: “The game is like masturbation. Everyone does it, no one wants to talk about it. She replied to the person on Twitter and explained that she had to give credit to Seamus Blackey, often referred to as the father of Xbox, who originally said this quote in 2001. In response to this tweet, Blackley explained that he nearly got fired for this quote.

In 2001, Blackley gave an interview a few weeks before the launch of the Xbox. And in the interview, he said the infamous quote: “Gambling is like masturbation. Everybody does it, nobody wants to talk about it.

Blackley explained that the main reason he got into so much trouble was because the quote ended up in the East Side Journal. “And some conservative spouses of [Microsoft] the executives read it,” Blackley recounted, “and I was called to Building 4 shall we say.

As spotted by play area, this isn’t the first time Blackley has joked about the infamous Quote. In 2019, he explained why he said it.

“It was an argument for multiplayer [gaming] online, which Xbox pioneered,” said Blackley. However, the context did not matter. Apparently, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were “VERY upset” by the quote.

Of course, blacktheyou weren’t fired and helped Microsoft successfully launches the original Xbox and while this initial the console did not fare as well as the PS2, later Xbox consoles were much more successful. Now, Microsoft’s Xbox division is so big that its buy Activision and Companies the size of Bethesda in order to feed its hugely popular Netflix-like service, game pass.

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