Xbox's corporate celebrities
What is it about the Xbox team at Microsoft that makes them so... cool?! Microsoft itself is not cool. Like Steven Kent said, "You can shave Bill Gates head, put him in ridiculous outfits... but you can't turn him into Vin Diesel." But the Xbox team have become what Dean Takehashi calls "executive rockstars." J Allard and Peter Moore took the stage at Zero Hour in front of a crowd of screaming fans and Takehashi noted, "In 17 years of journalism, I've never seen somebody ask a vice president for an autograph." It's like Beatlemania for nerds.
It didn't start with J Allard and Peter Moore; Seamus Blackley was the original badboy of the Xbox team. The man responsible for pitching and building the original Xbox left the company and J Allard ascended to replace him as the face of the Xbox. Even Peter Moore has been deified as something more than an executive, more than a marketing guy. Don't believe me, one viewing of this video entitled "Peter Moore montage of awesomeness" will change your mind.
So what is it? Being a nerd is cool now; we know, we got the memo too. But what explains the exaltation of these corporate spokespeople into cultural heroes? We just like seeing ourselves up there on stage, knowing they aren't any cooler than we are. In other words, it's every videogame nerd's rock and roll fantasy.