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Borderlands 2: “Girlfriend mode” comment sparks outrage

Monday, 13 August 2012 12:54 GMT By Nick Akerman

Borderlands 2 lead director John Hemingway has controversially labelled one of the game’s new skill trees as “Girlfriend Mode.”

In an interview with Eurogamer, Hemingway announced a user-friendly skill tree called Best Friends Forever. This will introduce perks that make the game easier, including an addition that lowers the need for accuracy when shooting.

Hemingway explained:

“The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we’ve ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree,” Hemingway said.

“This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That’s what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is.”

While this addition isn’t officially called “Girlfriend Mode,” Randy Pitchford felt the need to put things straight in a string of recent tweets.

“Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode. Anyone that says otherwise is misinformed or trying to stir up something that isn’t there,” he said.

“The future DLC Mechromancer class has a skill tree that makes it easier for less skilled coop partners (any gender!) to play and be useful.”

In response to a disgruntled reply, Pitchford concluded, “I didn’t know it was a nickname. It’s not even a thing – just a skill built from the idea of playing coop with noob friends.”

That’s us, and everybody else, firmly told.

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127 Comments

  1. Colin Gallacher

    And Randy Pitchford says it doesn’t exist :D

    https://twitter.com/duvalmagic/status/234980805888327681

    #1 2 years ago
  2. AHA-Lambda

    oh dear… =/

    #2 2 years ago
  3. silkvg247

    I wish it didn’t bother me because borderlands is my favourite game for a long time, and I’m really excited about BL2; in fact I have the uber loot chest version on preorder.

    But it does bother me. I mean they’re *implying* that in general girls are shit at games and need aim assist, which being an actual gamer.. I naturally take some offense to. Wouldn’t you? It’s hard to see the funny side, as much as I’d like to. :(

    They would have been much better off calling it “newbie mode”, or “aimbot mode”.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. GrimRita

    Its all kicking off on twitter. lol

    #4 2 years ago
  5. viralshag

    LOL @ “say goodbye to X amount of orders” comments.

    Only girls would be offended.

    And girls don’t play games.

    Because they’re girls.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Brenna Hillier

    Article has been updated for clarity.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    What?

    “The skill tree is called Best Friends Forever, what lead designer John Hemingway dubbed the “girlfriend mode”.”

    How do we get “it’s called girlfriend mode” from that? It’s called Best Friends Forever it was referred to as a girlfriend mode.

    Everyone knows what he means, he means that the tree was designed in mind for casuals who don’t really play FPS games, for example guys with non-gamer girlfriends, but fuck it, lets misreport on this and fire up a gender war.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. drewbles82

    think i would need it more than my gf, she gets way more head shots than me

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Hirmetrium

    Wow, unprofessional response from folks.

    https://twitter.com/davidwildgoose/status/234984937189695488

    In other news, they make a name and considered a demographic. Statistics show girls are minority.

    World assplodes.

    Seriously, they have a term which fitted with an idea – getting girls who aren’t good at the game into it. I’d call that considerate – to blow up over the name? jesus people. Political correctness.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Deacon

    can we talk about GaymerCon again ?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. El_MUERkO

    OH MY GOD! PEOPLE ON TWITTER CAN BE SO SHIT.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. silkvg247

    Well however this all came about I’m sure someone, somewhere dubbed it girlfriend mode – otherwise where did the news come from?

    The biggest annoyance for me is how they’re making the class I was looking forwards to (because it’s a decent non stereotype female for once) is now going to have an entire skill tree wasted. I won’t use it. I prefer aiming manually thanks – even with my girly girl hands.

    Why couldn’t they have given the newb skill tree to a male avatar eh :p

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Kabby

    No one ever died from being offended.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. silkvg247

    @5 If that wasn’t sarcasm I will slap you :p But I think I know you well enough to assume it was.. :p

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Lahanas

    I dont understand why there is “outrage”. It’s proven that girls/women dont play games or even the few who do play simple casual games. Sad but true.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. YoungZer0

    @15: Guess why so few women/girls play hardcore games.

    Go ahead, impress me.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. viralshag

    @Silk, Totally stand by what I said…

    Nah, of course I’m not being serious. ;)

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    Oh yeah, that’s real offensive…

    *Facepalm*

    #18 2 years ago
  19. SlayerGT

    @7 thank you Freedoms.

    The man is obviously thinking of his girlfriend. His “best friend” that is not so great at borderlands.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. ManuOtaku

    I think it suits the character is a girl without an arm, of course she will need help for aiming, its not for being a girl, is for the lack of one arm, Jesus……

    I think the tree suits here, at least lets wait in order to see how she plays, not as a gender, as her style due the lack of one arm replaced by a mechanical one.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Mike

    Men can’t multitask. Women make better single parents. Men are stronger than women. Women are more intelligent than men. Men are better at computer games than women. Women are more attentive lovers than men.

    If any of those offend you, you need to take a long at your life.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. freedoms_stain

    @12, “an entire skill tree wasted” how do you know? They have only made light of 1 skill in the entire tree, and although it is being represented as some sort of auto-aim skill it is in fact described as a ricochet skill. Now, how many ARPG’s have you played that didn’t have some sort of ricochet skill or a seeking shot or similar?

    I can almost guarantee that whatever they come up with for this tree veteran players will end up sampling skills from it, especially if they keep respecs as cheap and easy as they were in BL1.

    @19, callin em like I sees em.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    This is going to be my favorite skill tree!! Awshum!!

    #23 2 years ago
  24. roadkill

    But-hurt females and ballz-ripped-off idiots cry over the internetz again. Oh will this ever end? Why can’t people just accept that girls SUCK at gaming! Well, they suck at a lot of stuff so why is it that sucking at gaming as well is always a surprise!? And as viral said, sarcastic or not, men buy games, and not women. So it’s all good! :)

    edit: Oh btw, new Borderlands trailer “Come and Get Me” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U7nYb3ts7w&feature=g-all-u. :)

    #24 2 years ago
  25. OrbitMonkey

    ^ And the “I’m compensating for having a penis a dog wouldn’t lick even if I covered it in pedigree chum” award goes to You!!

    #25 2 years ago
  26. silkvg247

    @21 That is just fucking retarded, sorry man but it is :p

    ALL of those points bar the one about strength are generalisations and not FACTS. There are stupid women, there are women who are SHIT at being mothers, and the opposite is true for some men. As for being good in bed, sorry but that just depends on how much you actually give a shit about your other half and/or how selfish you are.

    Being good at computer games requires good motor reflexes and good reactions, neither of which are gender biased. In fact they can be improved *by* playing computer games, unlike other skills which you either have or you don’t.

    The fact that women generally aren’t encouraged to play computer games (mainly due to imbecilic thinking such as yours) is a different matter entirely, but those that do, and have from a young age, tend to be as good as if not better than their male counterparts. I don’t mind using myself as an example, I was rarely defeated back in my glory days.. since it was 15 years ago and women definitely weren’t on the internet back then, it’d usually cause drama en masse when folks found out. Pathetic really. Q2 and Q3, I was rank 1 in most publics. Perhaps because you don’t need a dick and balls to play games.. in fact I found when I had PMS I was absolutely unstoppable.. makes you think!

    @24 I bet my steam collection pisses all over yours (http://steamcommunity.com/id/Silkeh/games?tab=all), and I’ve probably been playing games since you were swimming in your Dad’s nutsack. stick that in your pipe and smoke it. :p

    @22 We will see! :)

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Aimless

    It’s funny, what the developer said was pretty innocuous if you read the whole thing rather than getting riled up over a headline, yet these topics always bring out the real misogynists in the comments; I’ve a hard time telling if they’re trolling or just absolute cretins, although the two are far from mutually exclusive.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Kabby

    “Women are more intelligent than men.”

    You might want to look at the sex of the people who invented 99% of everything and re-assess that one.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Clupula

    Wow, I can tell which guys in this thread have to pay for sex.

    And which of us know girls who are actually pretty damn good at games.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. silkvg247

    @28 You might want to consider that to this day women are raised to think they’re here purely to look pretty and make babies. Men are encouraged to think they can be whatever they want to be. Maybe if that had been the other way around for the past 500 years, you’d be singing a different tune (and looking after the kids like the good pa that you are).

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Kabby

    It doesn’t matter about what may have happened in your alternate universe. Reality is what counts.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. ManuOtaku

    Is a hard thing to say which gender is more intelligent, but there was an study, if i dont recall wrong, that womens did show a better reaction time playing games, because they use more a part of the brain, while in mans show less activity in the same region of the brain while playing videogames, therefore they are better playing videogames than man, but i dont have the link so i wait for the “where is the proof” part.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Ireland Michael

    @28 Seriously, could you be any more chauvinist?

    99% of invention were by men because, for most of the developed world’s history, we lived in a male dominated society they encouraged men to explore their interests and discourage women from leaving the home, because that was their assumed role in life.

    It’s not as bad as it used to be, which is why you’re starting to see a lot more women in established positions, but it’s sadly still a problem.

    There are vague difference in brain structure between genders, but none of them make one gender more or less intelligent than the other.

    You can’t just quantify it as “this gender is smarter” anyway, because everyone is born with different levels of intelligence.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. silkvg247

    @31 Mike was wrong stating that men are more intelligent than women, and you are wrong in stating the opposite. How ironic that me, the one in the minority, is the only one with enough sense to see that in terms of intelligence, we are equally capable.

    I’ve said in the past I think women make good logic thinkers and therefore great programmers and I stand by that. But at no point have I said men can’t be equally capable.

    My alternate universe was actually supposed to make you stop and think about how ridiculous your statement sounded, but I guess you lack the imagination.

    @33 My point exactly, but it’s astounding how many people can’t see that.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. YoungZer0

    @30: Raised? Raised by who? Wolves? Society? Because it’s parents who should raise their kids and you can only blame those if they told you that all a woman can achieve in life is getting children.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Ireland Michael

    @35 By society, obviously.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Kabby

    I’d be chauvinist if it was just an opinion.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. silkvg247

    @35 See #36

    And try to pay more attention to the media and TV if you think it’s bullshit.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. DSB

    @30 I see those kinds of arguments around a lot, and they’re such utter bullshit.

    All that’s needed to justify those basic roles is nature. You don’t see bears, rabbits and lions challenging their gender roles.

    And how can wanting everything to be an unnatural construct, possibly be construed as healthy. Girls play with dolls for a reason. Guys play with weapons for a reason.

    Should you force them to switch for the sake of some sick need for everyone to be nothing more than lost, blank nothings?

    It doesn’t limit them to only doing those things, but there arguably is a lot of very common sense to that preference, and I’m not sure it’s merely forced on them by parents, as some people would like to think.

    The basis for our species, and most others on the planet, is that women get fucked and men do the fucking. That does relegate us to two different roles at the very core of our existence.

    And why would that ever be construed as sinister? A tree might not be able to perform the same actions as a dolphin, a dolphin might not be able to perform the same actions as a monkey, but somehow it still works out quite well for all the them.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Ireland Michael

    @37 It *is* just an opinion, because you haven’t presented any concrete facts.

    “Men invented more, therefore they are smarter” is circumstantial evidence. It’s also a logical fallacy.

    There is no genetic correlation between gender and intelligence. There never have been. If there is, please show me some actual scientific proof.

    @39 That is an utterly ridiculous comparision to make, DSB. Animals dont have free will or cognitive intelligence.

    The whole point of us being human is our ability to think and choose. I know plenty of women who dont want children. I know plenty of men who want to be nurturers and carers. We can *choose* to be what we want.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Strange Sultan

    people in twitter are stupid (not all of them). they have no since of humor. “girlfriend mode” ? come on people it’s a clever joke. gaming is like cooking. most women suck at video games and most men suck at cooking.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. YoungZer0

    @36: Sorry, but if you let society/TV tell you what you can and can’t do, you can only blame yourself.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. Kabby

    Circumstantial. Ok.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. DSB

    @41 I’m not sure you could make a much worse defence than that :P

    First of all, most of the worlds best chefs are male.

    Second of all, it’s not that women suck at gaming, it’s that an overwhelming majority have very little interest in it. Hence the girlfriend reference.

    My wife may not be able to hit a barn door in a shooter, but it’s not because she inherently sucks at it, it’s because she hasn’t ever spent 5 hours playing one.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Ireland Michael

    @43 Yes, circumstantial. Your entire argument is “Men invented more, therefore they must be smarter”. You are inferring things based on things you believe to be true, as opposed to something that directly adds truth to the point.

    Where is the proof?

    @44 Please don’t ignore the point I just made.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. ManuOtaku

    Ireland now your having a discussion with yourself? :)

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Kabby

    The proof is that it’s true? The Worlds Best Inventors, Theorists, Scientists and so on have all been overwhelmingly male. I’m not going to give you a history lesson.

    #47 2 years ago
  48. ManuOtaku

    #47 and neither they were black, wonder where is the correlation?

    #48 2 years ago
  49. Kabby

    You probably don’t want to start that one.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. ManuOtaku

    #48 because it has the same origin, the way society has been rule in the past and present, and thats history in the making

    #50 2 years ago
  51. Ireland Michael

    @46 Wouldn’t be the first time.

    @47 And overwhelmingly white.

    Your complete obliviousness to and ignorance of social history is hilarious.

    I guess women’s lib was just a bunch of whiny mothers on their periods, right?

    #51 2 years ago
  52. silkvg247

    @42 I feel the same way about anyone who follows a religion, but it goes to show how easily we are brainwashed in both cases, no?

    @DSB come on man, comparing sentient beings to animals? Really? Nobody should be forced to do anything, which was exactly my point – we should all choose what we want to do.

    Unless you think that having every single thing you read and see mould you into a specific role isn’t “forcing”, in which case, I give up on you.

    There’s a reason why boys like guns and girls like dolls, it is NOT nature! It’s because that is what is hand fed to them throughout their life. What do you think they’d choose to do otherwise? Not everyone is strong willed enough to say “actually Dad, I prefer ballet over football” or “actually Mom, I don’t want to get married and have 3 kids, I want to be a biochemist”. That’s especially true in certain US states where it’s “make a nuclear family or gtfo!”

    #52 2 years ago
  53. OrbitMonkey

    @39, A dolphin can’t do what a monkey can… What are you smoking you weird hairy Dane? I’m not a hundred per cent sure, but their not the same species… Whereas Human males and females are.

    Plus the whole male/female gender role bollocks is just that, bollocks.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. OrbitMonkey

    @52, erm animals are sentient too… And humans are animals…

    #54 2 years ago
  55. DSB

    @40 It’s just folly, Michael.

    People need to believe that they’re so different from everything else on the planet, that they tend to forget about their inability to compensate for their all too natural weaknesses.

    We’re an invasive species, we’re top of the food chain, to devastating effect, and if we’re so incredibly smart, then why do we have such a hard time finding any kind of balance?

    If we have food, we eat ourselves to death. If someone has something we want, we’re likely to kill them for it, and if someone manages to project an illusion of superiority, we blindly follow. Where do you feel we stand out?

    I just don’t buy it, even for a second. We’re not the omniscient Gods-on-earth. We’re just the monkeys with the nicest dens, the most awesome toys, and our pick of anything we want to kill on the planet, including eachother.

    Being the most privileged and intelligent species, doesn’t mean you’re a genius.

    @52 Well then, if we suppose that lions aren’t as smart, then why do they do the exact same thing we do?

    If it’s forced on us to “behave like men and women”, then how do these stupid creatures manage to do the exact same to their young?

    Either it implies some sort of organization and planning, or merely a balanced natural order. Which one is it?

    @53 Fair point, it wasn’t meant to be literal. Just a more evocative example that everybody has a certain place, and that it isn’t something to be afraid of.

    Women obviously have a unique ability to give birth, and we obviously have a unique ability to cum on their faces. Whoops. Misogyny faux pax!

    … But we also have a unique ability to keep the den safe, just as women have a unique ability to nurture our young.

    I think a dolphin would be fucked if he presumed himself so smart that he’d much rather be a monkey. I don’t really see him gaining a lot from that.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. Da Man

    Imho, you should ban O’Conner for being a provocative dense person and Dsb for being a vulgar, flooding, perverted p… person.

    Imho.

    #56 2 years ago
  57. Dave7

    @DSB either you believe in a higher power that controls your life (poor thing) or what you are saying makes no sense at all (yes, even from a biological standpoint).

    An animal acts based on its innate instincts modified by its previous experiences.

    A human (who is also an animal, thanks) adds to that what its more developed brain can do: rational thought and its friend free will (you use them every day, your cat does not).

    Back to the point, differences between male and female humans are largely cultural, and the only one that is a scientific biological fact (average strength) is not extremely relevant in the modern world.

    #57 2 years ago
  58. ManuOtaku

    #57 dont forget that man are the only animal that stumbles with the same rock twice, therefore sometimes we humans dont use rational thoughts that much, really animals use it a little bit more at least they remember well, we not so much, we keep doing the same mistakes over and over again.

    And that “rational thoughts” at some extent, lead us to the point that the world cannot support us with food or water, we are reaching a bottle neck, while we are destroying the world natural resources, even though is our home, and the evolution in technology is for controling the human race by a few privilage people, while those that are being controlled live a very systematic designed way of life, in order to keep the well designed control, well i rather prefer being an animal at least wolves dont eat wolves, or destroy the earth, ignorance is bliss

    #58 2 years ago
  59. Ireland Michael

    @55 So… what then? Our capacity for higher cognitive thinking, independent thought, and free choice is just a big, fabricated myth that we invented for ourselves?

    I never said we were geniuses. I simply said that pre-determined gender roles do not define us as a species, because of our unique ability to think outside of the box and *choose*.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. DSB

    @57 How do you figure? I haven’t attributed it to anything but the factors that you describe.

    It would be easy to see nature as one “designed” system, but really it’s billions of systems, and they’ve all come about based on random chance, and just as many are likely to have failed in the meantime. I was just emphasizing some of the things that do repeat across those systems.

    The human being may be capable of lot by using his head, but how far does that really go? How many people do you know who truly act in their own best interests most of the time? Do you honestly see that much rationality in how we work?

    That’s really my only point. Impressive as the human mind may be, it’s quite obviously endowed with flaws that are very similar to those of our cats.

    @59 No, that’s all fact. But the actual use of that is severely limited.

    I’m saying that trying to think your way into being a girl, is folly. Whether you’re a girl or not, has nothing to do with cognition.

    Did silkvg247 think her way into being lesbian? Sometimes, we just are what we are, and no matter how much thought we could put into changing it, it wouldn’t work.

    I do think gender roles define us as a species. I fail to see how they don’t. For 100.000 years men have been warriors and women have been in charge of the camp.

    Things have obviously opened up over the last 200 years in many cultures, and there have been several others before them that allowed for a lot of freedom, for both men and women (Christianity really fucked that up in Europe) so I don’t think those gender roles are as limited as some people would like to portray them.

    #60 2 years ago
  61. OrbitMonkey

    Peeps do realise that Gender Roles are culturally enforced, not rigid genetic predestination right?

    #61 2 years ago
  62. Da Man

    Nah, folks don’t realize gender equality is modern culturally stimulated.

    #62 2 years ago
  63. FerretPersona

    Wow, these comments are clearly going nowhere fast. This isn’t about human nature or general human intelligence, it’s about a guy who’s a bit of a knob giving a game mechanic an offensive nickname.

    Regardless of whether or not women are “bad at games” [which they're not btw. That's utter bollocks] recent studies by the ESA suggest that women currently make up 47% of gamers. Of course some will argue that such a study doesn’t differentiate between “casual” and “core” games but who gives a toss. It’s irrelevant. This is yet another example of the “boys club” mentality that’s damaging the industry and preventing it from growing and being taken more seriously. Regardless of whether or not we’re talking about casual or core, these kinds of comments are out-dated, offensive and ridiculous. They’re damaging their own brand and talking themselves out of a large slice of the market.

    The straight male gamers who think that gaming is just for them need to realise that the landscape of gaming is changing. Get on board or gtfo.

    All the people who’re forward thinking and, ya know… not arse-backwards, are the people who will hopefully, one day be in the development chairs making even more great games that embrace inclusivity, instead of making misguided, moronic comments that offend and bore.

    #63 2 years ago
  64. DSB

    @61 You don’t see any inherent biological factors that might direct women a certain way, like milky, life-sustaining breasts, fertile wombs, or a body structure that favors aestethics over function?

    If it was their natural place to be a blank slate, then how come they can’t compete with us physically? Physical parity strikes me as a pretty important factor for someone who wants to claim equality.

    Currently we can just choose to shove them in the dirt whenever they open their mouthes, like some cultures pretty much do already.

    #64 2 years ago
  65. OrbitMonkey

    @62 No I think they do. Hence the desire to go back to the “Good old days”. Not sure when they were myself… The 70′s maybe?

    #65 2 years ago
  66. Dave7

    @DSB I’ve always found your comments really intelligent on this site, but this just baffles me.

    Just one example: “For 100.000 years men have been warriors and women have been in charge of the camp”

    This is just plain wrong, we have zero evidence of how the division of labor (if any) was between gender in prehistoric times. As a matter of fact, division of labor is one of the criterias that define a civilisation (look it up in a dictionary), which makes if very much a cultural thing.

    Anyway, now I know why I usually don’t get involved in these comment wars.

    #66 2 years ago
  67. YoungZer0

    God, this getting so fucking boring. Same shit, different day.

    #67 2 years ago
  68. OrbitMonkey

    @64, No I don’t. How we act and interact socially has been dictated through cultural evolution, not genetic evolution.

    I’m working class, living in a modern western city. The way I see it, moms and dads both have jobs and both raise the family, both cook and clean, theirs no “I have a penis, only I work”.

    Unless your Muslim. Those guys stick to a more traditional approach of woman stay home and breed. Which really just highlights that it’s a cultural choice to live that way.

    #68 2 years ago
  69. Da Man

    If only anything you guys say would correlate with irl… Aside from you weirdos out there.

    #69 2 years ago
  70. DSB

    @66 Most evidence suggests that during the hunter-gatherer phase, men were dominant, hunting the bigger game, and conducting their wars, while women were active as both hunters and gatherers, but primarily either hunting smaller game, or acting as blockers.

    That’s all circumstancial, but ultimately our limited brains don’t allow us to see the ultimate truth when we dig those things up, so we usually go whereever the assumption leads us.

    It doesn’t define the division of labor, but it does suggest it, and personally I think the suggestion of that evidence is pretty consistent throughout our history.

    If you can’t prove something, you have to go with what the evidence suggests, so where is the evidence suggesting that women were ever dominant in those initial societies? I just haven’t seen any.

    They have been dominant in much later societies though, the vikings were known to allow women to rise in their power structures.

    #70 2 years ago
  71. Dave7

    @DSB What evidence?

    #71 2 years ago
  72. Ireland Michael

    @60 Things have obviously opened up over the last 200 years in many cultures, and there have been several others before them that allowed for a lot of freedom, for both men and women so I don’t think those gender roles are as limited as some people would like to portray them.”

    That was kinda the whole point, DSB. People don’t have to fit into those gender roles anymore. Society doesn’t expect it. Not as much as it used to, anyway.

    @70 We’re not Neanderthals anymore. Those rules and roles no longer apply.

    #72 2 years ago
  73. DSB

    @71 You can look at a number of things, from human remains to cave paintings, to sculptures.

    Look up venus figurines, for example. Some of the oldest complete human remains to have been found have had chips in their bones that could only have come from combat. And the hunters featured in cave paintings often have gargantuan balls between their legs.

    @72 I don’t agree, I think it’s about dictating a different set of gender roles, more than setting anyone free.

    They want to tell people how to raise their kids, they want to tell board of directors to hire more women executives, they want to tell Lego not to make their blocks pink, and I guess increasingly they want to revise history to be more politically correct according to our standards today.

    It seems to me like a battle of supremacy, rather than a call for balance.

    #73 2 years ago
  74. Phoenixblight

    Wow the comment section of course isn’t about the article just a couple of sexist misogynist derail the thread. Successful troll is successful.

    I don’t see the issue its just an internal name for a skill so what? People and their PC mindedness. FYI Borderlands was never PC.

    ‘It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that”, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?’ —Stephen Fry

    #74 2 years ago
  75. GyroMight

    I would call this “Little Brother Mode” more than anything. It will give me an opportunity to play with my little brother so that he does not get frustrated and lets him actually contribute to our team.

    I’m for it.

    #75 2 years ago
  76. Phoenixblight

    @75

    Its not an actual mode or skill just something that a group of the developers called internally. You can call it whatever you want but thats not what it is called. The actual tree is called best friends forever.

    #76 2 years ago
  77. Deacon

    Yup PB. Someone ‘referred’ to something in a slightly cheeky way. Cue the rage.

    If we were talking finished product then I can understand a few panties being rustled. But we’re not.

    #77 2 years ago
  78. OrbitMonkey

    All joking aside, if this “Girlfriend mode” doesn’t include the ability to make a sandwich on the skill tree it’s false advertising :-P

    #78 2 years ago
  79. Cobra951

    Haha! Wow. Never expected this much entertainment out of a comment thread. Thank you all for showing up.

    On topic, so what if it gets called a GF mode? It’s accurate. Skilled shooter players are overwhelmingly male. And many of those players will have wives or girlfriends who may want to see what it’s about, but they lack the hardcore skills. A mode for them makes sense to me.

    There are better forums to discuss the sociology of gaming demographics. Not that I really care what gets typed in here.

    #79 2 years ago
  80. DSB

    It’s not about reality, it’s about how terrible you can possibly make it sound by reading way too much into it Cobra951 :P

    Most poignantly, it won’t be called girlfriend mode, that was just illustrative.

    @78 Hahaha :P

    #80 2 years ago
  81. silkvg247

    @79 So it’s ok to pick on a minority (skilled female shooters)?

    #81 2 years ago
  82. Da Man

    I actually wholeheartedly agree with the latest post by MoC… Back in the days you would be eaten alive or just forced out of your profession if you were inferior, nowadays you can post about videogames on an amateur site on the internet and make money..

    You can also have a wife who works as a secretary and be a secretary yourself, and think that’s because genders are equal. I wonder what Mary Shelley would say on the subject?. Hmm, yeah Byron just probably got there due to silly cultural prejudicies../s

    #82 2 years ago
  83. Phoenixblight

    @81

    I didn’t see it that way at all. For all we know he has a girlfriend who is a non-gamer or is not skilled at BL and so he named that tree “girlfriend mode”. If I was developing this game and I saw this skill tree I would have named it “wife mode”. DOes that mean I am a sexist or misogynist? No it doesn’t. People of course are going to read into stuff as if what he had said was meant that all women suck at shooting.

    #83 2 years ago
  84. Dave7

    @silkvg247 You’re braver than I am trying to educate people who just won’t look at the other side of the coin (it is quite comfy being a male in male dominated society, why should they question anything?).

    #84 2 years ago
  85. Ireland Michael

    @82 No, but I can have a wife who works as a surgical technologist and see that she is just as capable (frankly more so) than many of the people she works with, regardless of their gender.

    While I am capable of staying at home and raising our kids, despite the fact that, traditionally speaking, that was tought to be the role of the mother.

    And the reality is that there are plenty of families with these kind of dynamic now, more and more as times goes back, and its considered completely normal.

    Gender roles haven’t been relevant or quite some time now, and beyond certain obvious physical differences, have no reason to apply now.

    @84 Indeed.

    #85 2 years ago
  86. Da Man

    That doesn’t in any way, shape or form change the simple fact of reality that men are more capable at some things while females are naturally better at others. Nobody was preventing Frankenstein from beating Goethe or Byron.. the latter even was from the very same group of close friends. Nobody were stopping Marie Curie from becoming a chemist, were they?

    By all means, if you want to live the dream of a genderless mutant, more power to you.

    #86 2 years ago
  87. Ireland Michael

    @86 “That doesn’t in any way, shape or form change the simple fact of reality that men are more capable at some things while females are naturally better at others.”

    And intelligence isn’t one of them.

    A man may be genetically capable of possessing more muscle, but there are still plenty of women out there that would be able to kick the ass of the average male.

    #87 2 years ago
  88. stretch215

    ” A man may be genetically capable of possessing more muscle, but there are still plenty of women out there that would be able to kick the ass of the average male.”. Wrong. Maybe you O’Connor, you’re soft. But the average man, no way Jose.

    #88 2 years ago
  89. Ireland Michael

    @88 I’m not talking about myself. I actually know what the inside of a gym looks like. I’m not entirely sure how you would know if I’m “soft” or not.

    And if the people I see walking around the towns and cities each day are anything to go by, most men aren’t even close to reaching their gender’s peak of physical perfection. Not by a long shot.

    Mind you, neither are most women. But physical “perfection” is a rather frivolous goal anyway.

    #89 2 years ago
  90. Da Man

    Not intelligence as a word taken in isolation. Certain types of intelligent work.

    Sophia Kovalevskaya would beat the shit out of anyone’s algebra from some random university, not so when you start recalling George Boole..

    #90 2 years ago
  91. Dragon246

    Who started this goddamn debate anyway ? Didn’t we had this same discussion a few days ago?
    Also he just jokingly called it GF mode. What’s so wrong with it ?

    #91 2 years ago
  92. Ireland Michael

    @91 Yes we did.

    Being a bunch of pretentious pseudo-intellectuals who try to apply video games to real life is kinda our thing around here. =P

    #92 2 years ago
  93. OlderGamer

    Yikes, I better stay out of this one.

    I can tell you my wife has some games that she dominates in, some she is average in, and some she stinks at. Kind of the same as everyone else I have gamed with.

    I just wish I could keep up with her on Left4Dead, no joke. She saves my ass so much it ain’t funny.

    #93 2 years ago
  94. TheWulf

    Oh gamers.

    So, I’m with Mr. Ireland on this one. Sort of. As I think we’re in complete accordance, and mostly because I can’t believe that some people can be so ignorant. Though there have been a vast majority of famous inventions and discoveries by ethnic minorities as well as women.

    See, what it is is that this world is dominated by straight, white men, who’ve never had discrimination, who’re popularised, who’ve made themselves dominant. Unless you do your research, it’s easy to believe that most inventions were thanks to straight, white men.

    You know what’s funny, though?

    In the past century, we’ve proven how much that’s bullshit, and it makes one worry just how true the situation was with inventors of the past, whether those straight, white men actually came up with their ideas, or merely stole them. In fact, recent trends have shown that people of ethnicities which aren’t Caucasian and are women alike have been responsible for some fairly major discoveries.

    In fact, most of the major discoveries. I follow science journals, and most of the Scientists who’re pushing fields forward these days aren’t Caucasian, and not all of them are men. Not by a long shot.

    This is why I cast doubt upon history. There are times when it was likely that a person of a minor ethnicity or a woman wouldn’t have been permitted to be responsible for an invention or a discovery. But that’s changing, now. And we see that as it’s changing, white men are actually falling to the sidelines.

    In fact, recent Scientific research trends have shown white men to be notably inferior.

    The white man empire is a notion of utter fucking nonsense that’s almost been completely toppled, these days. And only small-minded, pig-headed little bigots actually try to hang onto it. If you’d stop dwelling centuries into the past and look at how things are now, you’ll find that he white man isn’t responsible for nearly the amount of discoveries or inventions that he used to be.

    And the world is better for it.

    #94 2 years ago
  95. TheWulf

    As for the article at hand? That’s just a dickbag not watching his mouth. We’ve seen that a million times before. Sometimes I think that Randy’s group tries to generate controversy just for advertising.

    Remember the Duke Nukem butt-slapping shit?

    Yeeeeeeeeah.

    #95 2 years ago
  96. Ireland Michael

    @94 Indeed. It’s very interesting to see the shift in a lot of fields. Medicine especially, which right now is being absolutely dominated by people in eastern countries. It’s quite fascinating.

    The old rules no longer apply. They haven’t for a very long time. One can only hope that continues, grows and evolves with time, until it simply no longer matters. I doubt that will ever happen, not utterly, but one can hope.

    #96 2 years ago
  97. freedoms_stain

    Metro PC man, I want to be a Metro PC man.

    Metro PC man, I want to be a Metro PC man.

    #97 2 years ago
  98. DSB

    Hahaha freedoms_stain :D

    #98 2 years ago
  99. Kabby

    I expected a longer post from TheWulf on this; ending in a paragraph extolling the virtues of Guild Wars 2.

    #99 2 years ago
  100. YoungZer0

    @94: Just out of curiosity, do you have some examples?

    #100 2 years ago
  101. silkvg247

    Bah you pathetic male underlings can troll all you want, this woman has fragged approximately 78,940,356 times since birth, made crowbar fatalities cool, has landed helicopters upside down at least 65 times, mastered the art of the rocket jump midair rail, telefragged, taught others how to hop around a warehouse at lightning speed, has saved the world from darkfalz FOUR times, cratered, built a pc inside a cupboard, taught her Dad how to play racing games, shot the food, taught her Mum how to play ps3 games and stream media from her laptop, has been a senior computer programmer for most of her life, and has just about finished creating her first video game from scratch.

    And that is to name a very select few examples.
    (kudos to those that get the references)

    The fact that a lot of women don’t choose or aren’t led down the same path as me isn’t relevant. I am living proof that we are just as capable as men in all things computer or console related.

    All I was saying is, I think a big part of what we do in life stems from what we are encouraged to do, and women are NOT encouraged to do anything related to gaming or programming.. or even IT for that matter (apart from secretarial.. sigh), and I personally believe this needs to change.

    #101 2 years ago
  102. Da Man

    I expected a longer post from TheWulf on this; ending in a paragraph extolling the virtues of Guild Wars 2.
    +1

    #102 2 years ago
  103. viralshag

    @silk, yeah yeah yeah… That’s great and all. More importantly though, can you make a good sandwich?

    :p

    #103 2 years ago
  104. Ireland Michael

    @101 Just out of curiosity, is that number specific or just a rough estimate? Hehe.

    #104 2 years ago
  105. Levester

    @1 i completely agree with you that women are just as capable as men in all things computer related. however, how do you purpose we start encouraging girls to play videogames? we cant force developer to make games specifically tailored for a female audience. developers can do w.e. they want, and we have no right to tell them otherwise. the only thing we can do is tell the parents to stop buying their daughters dolls and stupid pink shit just because the kids were born with vaginas. that kind of responsibility can only lie with the parents. im glad that you’re an accomplished programmer, and im happy to count you as a fellow gamer. but using any of your gaming experience as grounds for encouraging this kind of behaviour is a major skip in logical progression. the two are completely irrelevant.

    #105 2 years ago
  106. silkvg247

    @105 I was fortunate enough to have two older brothers and open minded parents. That in itself got me where I am today. Had I not had my older siblings there, I might never have gotten into I.T. I mean the first computers and consoles in the house were bought for them, not me. I was bought dolls. But they gave up on that once they realised what I liked.

    I am one person and I cannot change the world. What I do hope for though, is some small success in my personal indie game venture. Even if it’s just enough to get a female voice out there, and even if I can inspire just one other woman to do stuff like this.

    I *don’t* think devs should try and make games “for” female audiences because frankly there is no such thing. Everyone likes different kinds of games, male or female. Like my father and his racing games, me and my strategy/fps/rpg, mum and her puzzlers, bro and his rpgs. Honestly the only thing I’d change in today’s video games is to try and be a bit more inclusive, more “not just here for eye candy” female characters in games, especially multiplayer avatar selections where more and more modern games companies just can’t be bothered adding models with tits.. ah they’re a minority, ignore them.

    It’d be awesome to have a televised, not so sexy, just normal woman on mainstream game media news, who had a voice that stood out, who was clearly an avid gamer. But sadly instead, the only media coverage women seem to get is when they cosplay well. So, the gaming media needs to change.

    What else needs to change is bigots making girls feel they have no place here in the first place. The only people who can change that are the bigots themselves. They’d need a good long hard look in the mirror first though.

    #106 2 years ago
  107. OlderGamer

    I agree, why should games be made just for girls?

    Last night my wife, her brother and his wife played a few rounds of L4D on Steam. We go back forth between Diablo III, Wow, and L4D at the moment. We play most nights.

    Games are games, and different gamers like different games. I think pushing steriotype games on female gamers is just another demeaning well, steriotype.

    If I recall a recent study that said 47% of all gamers were female.

    #107 2 years ago
  108. Mineral4r7s

    And what if the whole thing would be called BOYFRIEND MODE?

    jeez people…

    The only real sexism is in payment issues between Male and Female.
    In everything else FEmales and Males are the same.

    No game differs between a Female and Male…

    Hypocrits.

    #108 2 years ago
  109. Da Man

    Playing videogames.

    What an intelligent, beautiful thing to do with your time. Esp against pattern based AI.

    Smh..

    #109 2 years ago
  110. Dragon246

    @Silk,
    No need to take such a debate personally. Did you really think people will take you seriously if you tried to persuade them using personal experiences?
    Although the word gamer has no gender, so I dont think there should be any discrimination of any sort.
    “I am one person and I cannot change the world”
    Irrelated to the topic , but I dont like it when say so because its wrong. Most revolutions (of any sort) in human society are brought forth by a single determined person hell-bent on changing the world , whether for good or bad.
    Like Gandhi, Mendela, Einstein, even Hitler.

    #110 2 years ago
  111. fearmonkey

    Any guy that has a girl gamer on his arm is one lucky guy.
    I wish my girlfriend was a gamer, but sadly she just isn’t into them.

    #111 2 years ago
  112. silkvg247

    @110 I’m not taking anything personally, merely using personal experiences in my debate. :)

    #112 2 years ago
  113. Sini

    There are children starving in Africa, and cretins are whining over stupidity like this.

    #113 2 years ago
  114. YoungZer0

    @113: Oh, you’re that guy. Are you doing anything against starvation in africa?

    #114 2 years ago
  115. absolutezero

    114 comments.

    Again.

    #115 2 years ago
  116. TD_Monstrous69

    Come on, gaming should be something above sexism, even in small cases like sexist jokes from John Hemingway. There’s a time and place, and that was neither one of them. Just disappointing.

    #116 2 years ago
  117. Mireilles Fury.

    @Silk, you mentioned you’re almost finished your first video game from scratch, is there a website/twitter, or even at least a name to go with it, I’m curious to see what you’ve been working on.

    #117 2 years ago
  118. Christopher Jack

    These sort of articles always gain over 100 comments. It’s ridiculous, too many people are either extremely ignorant or easily offended. Why be offended by ignorance in the first place? You should know better. The original comment by John Hemingway clearly had no malicious intent yet it’s spawned dozens of responses debating it, get over it.

    His message was clear but not completely accurate, girls can be just as hardcore gamers as men, but they just tend to be either a minority or just very quiet- I know most female gamers on XBL tend to not speak, especially on CoD or Halo were you get a dozen jugheads every game making them feel uncomfortable so they pretty much go unnoticed.

    #118 2 years ago
  119. TD_Monstrous69

    @118 Agree with u 100 percent.

    #119 2 years ago
  120. Ireland Michael

    @118 Most of us weren’t offended by anything. For the large part, the discussion has been friendly and polite.

    We weren’t even discussing his comment – the topic has expanded into a much broader subject. There’s nothing really wrong with that honestly, is there?

    #120 2 years ago
  121. Hybridpsycho

    @Silk

    This is what I bet you sound like IRL and at least what you look like online.

    “OMG GUYS LOOK I’M A GAMER GIRL, PLEASE GIVE MORE ATTENTION LULZ, I PLAY GAEMS CAUSE IZ COOLZ N L33T N STUFF :))))) <3<3<3<3<3"

    The "girlfriend mode" is "funneh" cause most girlfriends suck at games even though they say they LOVE games to look hip (apparently nerdy is the new cool :/ )

    #121 2 years ago
  122. Kuwabara

    it sux, my gf can kick my ass in kz3 and battlefield 3..

    #122 2 years ago
  123. The Man

    WOMEN should stick to the kitchen

    #123 2 years ago
  124. Kesarion

    @silkvg247

    You’re the perfect image of what I used to think women should be like when I was younger. It was disappointing to see my friends(girls) turn out to be stereotypical females, completely uninterested in games, software and technology *sigh*

    But rest assured, if I ever have a daughter she’ll grow up as a warrior. No stereotypes, she’ll decide her future unbiased, apart from my influence as a programmer and gamer of course.

    #124 2 years ago
  125. Ravenne

    @silkvg247
    What you said about women not being encouraged to do anything gaming/programming/IT-related – amen to that. I’m a woman who realized she loves gaming and wants to create games already after I was far into university education process majoring in humanities. In my 20s I learnt almost from scratch things about gaming and computers that my male friends just grew up with. I work close to gamedev now, I had to work hard for that and I do like my job, but it is one for someone without an IT education. If I could change the past I’d have studied to be a programmer, and preferably specialized in engine programming.

    Were I born male I would’ve prolly gotten the encouragement you mention – from parents, school, friends, society in general. Very likely bookish kid and quite a good student that I was, had I been a boy, would’ve enrolled in IT studies. Unluckily, I have no older brothers and I’m from a not too well-to-do Eastern European family.

    It’s not easy to make up for lost years, especially those lost when your mind is best at learning new things – when you’re a kid. In linguistics there is this theory that kids acquire a language (naturally absorb in a way) and adults have to learn a language (requires conscious effort). It always seemed to me like this could be applied to acquiring IT and games-related knowledge and skills. Most guys I know grew up with computers and video games and were in various ways encouraged to participate in gaming culture and learn about technology. I, as an adult, had to learn all that. I wish girls were given more opportunities to acquire this kind of knowledge.

    #125 2 years ago
  126. silkvg247

    @Kesarion – Seeing most girls turn into your typical girly girl depresses me too. Not because I’m a feminist but because I think of all the potentially wasted/untapped talent. The media is primarily to blame since it practically brainwashes people, though parents/upbringing is also a strong factor. I think it’s more a case of letting your kid figure out what he/she likes rather than pushing your own preferences on them. Unfortunately no matter what you do or don’t do, they’ll be exposed to other kids who will hugely influence them too, and those kids in turns may have been influenced by media or gender-stereotype pushing parents. It’s a very sad circle.

    @Ravenne – If it makes you feel any better I didn’t get into programming or PC’s until about 17-18. Before then I’d been massively into computer and console games but never really delved into how they worked, letalone written stuff to run on them. It’s never too late.

    In my case I wasn’t held back so much because I was female, but more because there were no options in my education to pursue computer programming. It literally didn’t exist. We had “IT/Business studies” rolled into one instead, and it never so much as touched on programming. I think I was born a little too early perhaps, because I see now schools are starting to do this kind of thing. I completely agree all kids should be started young on programming. I’d even argue it’s more important than learning a second language nowadays.

    My main gripes with where we are with I.T. and gaming being predominantly male, are aimed squarely at the media for pushing female and male stereotypes down everyone’s throats.

    Anyways I’ve just been discussing a very interesting idea for a game to write next with my other half (also a girl programmer, yay!), so hopefully when I’m rich and famous I can do something about the woefully sparse female population within I.T. :-p

    #126 2 years ago
  127. mortalisk

    But, girlfriend mode is what this is for most people. I wish they could just call it that. Everything doesn’t need to be so politically correct all the time. People can make their own choices as to who they want to be, they are not at the whim of other peoples opinions, and if they are they can suck my balls anyway because I’m not. Sex stereotypes are not arbitrary, but follow the avarage choices of identifiable groups which are influenced by genetics, instincts and reality. It has nothing to do with anyone preassuring anyone to do what they do not want to do. Why don’t you grow a pair people!

    #127 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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