The Gearbox boss doesn’t think we should blame Sony for another person’s crimes.
You’ve probably heard that the PSN is back up and running, but the security conversation is far from over. Aside from the inevitable loss of consumer trust, Sony is still getting pressure from several governments and there’s no shortage of hate spewing out of the various corners of the Internet. Randy Pitchford, however, thinks that all of the vitriol has been misguided. The Gearbox President would rather go after the criminals than the victim, and he thinks Sony deserves a warm chocolate chip cookie and maybe a shoulder to cry on.
“Every one of us who plays games on PlayStation Network – and especially Sony – we’re all victims of cyber-terrorism,” said Pitchford. “We should all be rallying our support, hating the terrorists, wishing to dismantle that problem, because that could strike at any time and disrupt our fun and disrupt our way of life as gamers.”
“It’s freakin’ terrible,” he continued. “[The hackers] are evil, they’re criminal. We’re all throwing darts at Sony – we should all give ’em hugs and help ’em out.”
For Pitchford, the problem is that we’re not holding criminals accountable for illegal activities, and he’s worried that the anti-Sony backlash will encourage future hackers who sense that there are no social consequences for their behavior.
“It’s the first time we’ve experienced it in the games industry and I think we’re failing in how we respond to it,” he continued. “Everyone who is attacking Sony right now is failing. We need to attack cyber-terrorists.”
“The best thing is to try and create a culture where that behavior is not acceptable human behavior.”
While some people might say that “terrorism” is too strong a word, I happen to agree with Pitchford’s general point. The hysteria surrounding the security breach has been completely disproportionate to the tangible impact, and getting angry at Sony is a bit like blaming the homeowner instead of the burglar after a home invasion. That doesn’t absolve Sony – they screwed up, and they’re going to pay millions of dollars in the form of data protection plans, free giveaways, and employee overtime – but the sky isn’t falling and we need to stop pretending that cyber criminals aren’t as culpable as theirs brick-and-mortar equivalents.