Borderlands 2's "Girlfriend Mode"

#1 Posted by realph (257 posts) -

This seems to be causing quite the stir this afternoon. Full Eurogamer Story.

During a studio tour of Gearbox's Dallas offices, the developer showed us a work in progress build of the Mechromancer, planned to launch around 60 days after the game releases in September. Currently, the Mechromancer uses assets lifted from Maya, the Siren, for her arms. But her design and one out of three skill trees is complete.

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

"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. 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."

Pitchford has since taken to Twitter, to refute such claims of a "girlfriend mode".

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

Source: Bit Thirsty

#2 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

Where were all these sycophants who are crucifying Gearbox now when Shigeru Miyamoto first introduced "girlfriend mode" a few years ago?

#3 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Jeff was already complaining about it on Twitter.

I, for one, look forward to a cutesy character in Borderlands because the more cuteness in life the better.

#4 Posted by bibamatt (1088 posts) -

@TeflonBilly said:

Where were all these sycophants who are crucifying Gearbox now when Shigeru Miyamoto first introduced "girlfriend mode" a few years ago?

As far as I'm aware, Miyamoto didn't ever name that "girlfriend mode". I think the problem here is that the article states "The skill tree is called Best Friends Forever, what lead designer John Hemingway dubbed the "girlfriend mode"."

I doubt the game will ship with a mode/skill tree named "girlfriend mode". They'd be crucified (quite rightly). But, if the lead designer really did say this, it's absolute right to call him out on it.

#5 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

yep. he said something sexist and shitty and got called on it, should apologise. that's pretty much it.

#6 Posted by Nottle (1914 posts) -

I heard a lot of this on twitter. I didn't get what the deal was. It's a dumb name, it's been used before, why are people upset now? Why can't they use a different term. Seems very strange that people are up in arms about this, when its been a thing for a while.

Though i do want a best friend skill tree, that name sounds neat.

#7 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

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


Gah, the skill tree in question is making the game easier for fps newbies, which is just good. 
So, nothing to discuss about 'girlfriend mode'.
#8 Posted by WMWA (1162 posts) -

Nontroversy

#9 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -
#10 Posted by OneKillWonder_ (1744 posts) -

Who gives a flying fuck? Seriously. Watching people get so uptight about such trivial shit is simultaneously funny and frustrating.
 
If anything, the real thing to be upset about is that the Mechromancer has a whole skill tree dedicated to something like that.

#11 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

And ten years ago the game called you a pussy for playing on easy. The times.

#12 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -

well we've gotta keep our pitchforks sharp somehow

#13 Edited by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

"Girlfriend mode" has always been a gross and stupid name, but people passively accepted it when it was reffered to as such in Super Mario Galaxy. It's been used sparingly to describe similar modes in other games. The fact that this perhaps tactless developer used the popularized term for such a mode to better convey what it was does not deserve the drubbing all the holier than thou pundits are dishing out on Twitter and the like.

As another guy tweeted to Ryan, when did moral outrage take the place of screenshots in games press coverage?

You keep seeing it alot lately wether it was the stupid phrasing of the Tomb Raider developer about protecting Lara or the extremely shoddy coverage of the FGC debacle.

Editorials are where you're supposed to wax philosophical and pontificate about these things. News articles which are supposed to inform the consumer of the mechanics, graphical prowess or gameplay modes of an upcoming game should be free of whatever agenda these dregs of gaming journalism have to drum up more drama and by association hits. The Eurogamer article had "girlfriend mode" posted over it more times than I cared to count.

I despise the term "Girlfriend mode", but I'm sorry it became part of the developer vocabulary when you let it happen all those years ago.

#14 Posted by Mesoian (1574 posts) -

Such a non issue. No one, and I mean literally no one, had a problem with the term "Girlfriend mode" two years ago. Hell, it was socially accepted and endorsed by the majority of the gaming press.

Slow monday news day.

#15 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

It's definitely Monday in the videogame industry.

#16 Posted by kidman (469 posts) -

holy political correctness, jesus christ

#17 Posted by RE_Player1 (7560 posts) -

Must be a slow week if people are riled up over this...

#18 Posted by JoeyRavn (4973 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: Every bullet you fire screams "Hey! Hey! You! You!".

#19 Posted by Chroma_Auron (112 posts) -

It was stupid and slightly unintentionally sexist of that guy to call it that but at least it got cleared up fast.

#20 Posted by BaconHound (68 posts) -
@OneKillWonder_
Who gives a flying fuck? Seriously. Watching people get so uptight about such trivial shit is simultaneously funny and frustrating.
 
If anything, the real thing to be upset about is that the Mechromancer has a whole skill tree dedicated to something like that.
This.
#21 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#22 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3865 posts) -

I cannot express enough how little I care. It's a stupid term and yeah if the dudes doing an interview he should have phrased things differently. But, surprise surprise, this has become a way bigger issue then it needs to be.

#23 Posted by BlackLagoon (1428 posts) -

I got enough of Girlfriend Mode during the Burnout Paradise TNT.

#24 Posted by Akrid (1356 posts) -

Imagine this guys surprise when he uses a term that's thrown about pretty liberally in places where games are played, and the whole internet comes crashing down on him. It's either hypocrisy or some function of apathy, I can't decide.

#25 Edited by Animasta (14691 posts) -

itt a bunch of guys think girlfriend mode is not offensive lolol

best friends forever mode? fine term, if a little long in the tooth. person who is shit at games mode is what I would call it (borderlands 2 is M, right?), but girlfriends mode is a little offensive sorry for offending all your guy sensibilities (obviously some of y'all guys don't like it either, so no offense to you)

edit; just because it was used in the past doesn't make it okay now either though I would think that would be obvious

#26 Posted by betterboulder (190 posts) -

Where's "Girl-who-just-happens-to-be-my-friend" mode?

#27 Posted by Fallen189 (5004 posts) -

Get over it

#28 Posted by Little_Socrates (5677 posts) -

@Elazul: This is fine I want your cries they're so delicious

And HELL YEAH I am motherfucking vicious.

#29 Posted by altairre (1189 posts) -

@BaconHound said:

@OneKillWonder_
Who gives a flying fuck? Seriously. Watching people get so uptight about such trivial shit is simultaneously funny and frustrating.

If anything, the real thing to be upset about is that the Mechromancer has a whole skill tree dedicated to something like that.
This.

Pretty much.

#30 Posted by colubroid (39 posts) -

Now Brad needs to stop talking on Bombcasts about how his girlfriend has problems with the difficulty in some action games?

Childish hissy fits are not a sign of enlightenment.

#31 Posted by BaconGames (3403 posts) -

I don't think the lack (or presence) of people getting riled up is any metric for anything ever. If no one gets riled up, its not a justification to keep doing something and if people do get riled its not an excuse to just abandon it. With that said, "girlfriend mode" was a cute joke at first but its presumptuous about real people in the real world that comes off as condescending. It assumes like a gross person would that the people who don't or can't play games are the self-same girlfriends of the people who do play games. The label is something that can't really be pinned to one person, since the gaming community really took it and made it a real meme, but a lead designer saying dumb shit begets dumb shit.

For years we've had asynchronous co-op as the proper term for "girlfriend mode" in the database and that should have been the long and short of the debate. If they were trying to go for a tree that appeals to new or unskilled players, refer to it as that on those terms and let reality sort it out. It's just shitty all around. Shitty that "girlfriend mode" is a term that has more than a kernel of truth to it but shitty that we have to presume all girlfriends suck at video games when using it. If Patrick is any reference, he uses asynchronous co-op with his girlfriend all the time but I bet the first sign of it being labeled like that for no good reason is met is hostility. So clearly there's a way to make it work and I doubt the Gearbox guys don't know that. I'd rather everyone recognize this shit is dumb than just dismiss it though. There's no real value like a sexy character or a funny joke to excuse anything, its just kind of pointless really.

@JoeyRavn said:

@Little_Socrates: Every bullet you fire screams "Hey! Hey! You! You!".

Now if they actually put in a girlfriend mode in the game and it was some surreal shit like that, then people would be on board.

#32 Posted by ThunderSlash (1720 posts) -

@Animasta: i know rite? its as if the devs are tauntin there audeince by thinking that they can have girlfriends. pfff as if nerds hav gfs

#33 Posted by Ares42 (2661 posts) -

Is it just me or has gaming news been turning more and more into tabloid news this year ? I'm getting really tired of all this non-gaming political correctness non-sense. Some developer said something stupid ? I don't care. Someone's making an immature game ? Good for them. Tell me about the games, not this quasi-gaming headline chasing completely irrelevant bullshit.

#34 Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24 (521 posts) -

...

#35 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1807 posts) -

I can't wait for the HAWP episode.

#36 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

Is it just me or has gaming news been turning more and more into tabloid news this year ?.

The latter seems about right to me.

#37 Posted by Toxin066 (3287 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

That's pretty much all that needs to be said.

#38 Posted by awesomeusername (4183 posts) -

Don't know what's stupider. This or people going crazy over Miley Cyrus' new haircut. I swear, people are such babies these days.

#39 Posted by BeachThunder (11927 posts) -
#40 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -
@BaconGames Yeah I would be incredibly impressed with hypocrisy if either Brad or Patrick came out against this considering they make this reference all the time and Brad in specific has used the term himself. And why not? It's a descriptive term for a common scenario. Are we still at the point where we care about how good people are at games?
#41 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Here we Go!... *Cue for a Dark Knight Joker GIF*

#42 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -
#43 Posted by EvilKatarn (465 posts) -

I, as a 20 year old man, am so offended by this that I must run to Twitter and write up an editorial for Kotaku about how offended I, as a 20 year old man, am over the possibility that there might be a game mode in a shooter designed to be a bit easier for newcomers or whatever.

This is so fucking ridiculous. I feel like I've ranted about there being a hundred stories about misogyny in gaming this summer and this shit just keeps on going.

When stuff's getting to the point where I need to whine about there being too much whining about a subject then it's gone far too far.

#44 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I'm not saying it's not offensive, but the sensibilities of the kind of morons that incessantly bitch about stuff like this is exponentially more offensive to me.

#45 Posted by captain_clayman (3321 posts) -

this is controversial? who gives a shit?

#46 Posted by AuthenticM (3724 posts) -

@OneKillWonder_ said:

Who gives a flying fuck? Seriously. Watching people get so uptight about such trivial shit is simultaneously funny and frustrating.

It's not trivial shit. This shit perpetuates the false notion that girls "don't understand" video games and are bad at them. It's ignorant, insulting and sexist. People like you putting their heads in the sand and pretending that nothing is wrong are part of the problem. Grow up.

#47 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU said:

I'm not saying it's not offensive, but the sensibilities of the kind of morons that incessantly bitch about stuff like this is exponentially more offensive to me.

no one's incessantly bitching about it. They're just saying this is a term that's kind of offensive. No, this obviously isn't a big deal, but then again is it a big deal the other way? do we NEED to keep using it? This isn't about players using it, but developers; and if they start just referring it to asynchronous coop, then the issue is solved.

#48 Posted by DeadVillager (77 posts) -

I don't see any controversy that doesn't involve unnecessarily liberal interpretations of what the phrase "girlfriend mode" is supposed to communicate.

#49 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@PrivateIronTFU said:

I'm not saying it's not offensive, but the sensibilities of the kind of morons that incessantly bitch about stuff like this is exponentially more offensive to me.

no one's incessantly bitching about it. They're just saying this is a term that's kind of offensive. No, this obviously isn't a big deal, but then again is it a big deal the other way? do we NEED to keep using it? This isn't about players using it, but developers; and if they start just referring it to asynchronous coop, then the issue is solved.

I said "Incessantly bitches about stuff like this". I didn't say this problem specifically.

#50 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Games have evolved!

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