Borderlands 2 "Girlfriend Mode" Helps Noobs Win

Fiz_The_Toaster

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Well this got ugly fast since the last time I ventured into this thread.

I guess tongue-in-cheek humor isn't for everyone apparently. Considering who is making Borderlands 2 I thought it was a given that anything they said about the game would be an exaggeration or funny.

Ah well, maybe next time! :D

[sub][sub]Why the hell isn't it September yet? I wanna play this already.[/sub][/sub]
 

Schadrach

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Boudica said:
Schadrach said:
"teh feminists"

[...]

Get your girlfriend into the game, especially since it's on the "cute" female character.
That certainly paints a nice picture of you. Not offensive at all -_-
Awww, thanks! =p

The "teh feminists" bit was more a rib at the local internet feminists, if anyone gets offended by it then they're precisely the sort who gets offended by people talking about Nice Guys(tm) because they try to be decent people and don't see why you hate decent people so much. I can point you at some writing by "teh feminists" if you like, some of them are pretty crazy. I can spell and not use shock quotes when I don't intend them, just so you know.

Now, for the other part -- do you seriously think the intent on their end was any different? Do you think it's completely arbitrary that they decided to give that tree to that character, or that there was any other kind of logic behind it on their side then what I said?

There is one reason you give the "easy" skill tree to the "cute" female character, and it's because you expect people will at least mildly favor characters that they can identify with, and you are assuming that people who would identify with the cute female character will gain the most benefit (or generate the least frustration for themselves or others) from such a tree. That's the part that should really be offensive.

4173 said:
Lesson 1,028: Think long and hard about revealing a feature's in-house nickname in an interview.
Especially if that name isn't utterly inoffensive to any possible reader or viewer, or else you might have an internet hate swarm on your doorstep. Unless of course, you are trying to argue that people hate your point and people who agree with you should give you money to get the message out, then intentionally creating internet hate swarms and declaring them proof of your point is an efficient way to increase funding.

Trilligan said:
Am I the only one so far who found it a stroke of brilliance to include 'Easy' and 'Hard' difficulty settings as actual in-game character builds rather than a toggle-switch in a menu somewhere?

I mean, that's actually really elegant game design, when you think about it.
It is, but it's not applied across the game, just to the one class... The cute female one... With the poorly chosen in-house nickname (though not as bad as "feminist whore" as an internal name left behind in a single debug function that never gets called referencing the skill that let the one Dead Island character do extra damage to men -- now *that* was a case of looking for something to get offended by, given you had to pick through the code to find it, it was about as silly as the "hot coffee" incident or the "TES nude mod" one)... yeah, not the best choices on their part.
 

ReinWeisserRitter

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Idiotic move when the feminism controversy is at an all-time high in this industry. You can say it was cheeky or satirical all you want, but it's also insensitive and foolish.
 

Ledan

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Boudica said:
Damn. I was looking forward to this game. But alas, I won't be giving money to a group using such silly terms and helping to propagate stereotypes.

-1 sale
!!
The skill tree is actually called "Best Friends Forever", are you really not going to buy an awesome game because of what one guy stupidly said?
 

Paradoxrifts

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Mouse One said:
Nope. Industry sponsored surveys find that about 40% or so of all gamers are female. Include casual games and it's higher. Average age of gamers is 33 (not the same as age of buyer, which averages in the forties). Percentages are lower for consoles, but still around 25%.
Wrong. You're either woefully ignorant of the subject, or an outright liar.

Take your pick.

The percentage of female gamers only climbs north of forty percent by including every type of video game, which would include casual games. This was noted as being the case in a publication such as the New York Times no less.

NYTimes said:
Industry statistics from the Entertainment Software Association say 47 percent of game players are women, but that number is frequently viewed as so all-encompassing as to be meaningless, bundling Solitaire alongside Diablo III.[footnote]http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/02/us/sexual-harassment-in-online-gaming-stirs-anger.html[/footnote]
Nor does the ESA publish the methodology of their data collection, nor do they release the raw data so that people can draw their own conclusions as to who is playing what. In fact the annual ESA releases, and many other industry backed surveys and studies like it, are little more than industry propaganda. Carefully cherry-picked data that has first been collected, then stage managed to display the gaming industry that paid for it in the first place in the most flattering light possible. Which is in a large part why the industry fact sheet goes out of it's way to report that women over the age of 18 make up a larger portion of the entire industry's audience then young men under the age of 18.

But lets have a closer look at the percentages they did release.

If we do a little simple math, and reverse engineer the statistics that they feature on their website[footnote]http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp[/footnote][footnote]http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf[/footnote], we will get a really interesting result. Male gamers seventeen or under might only make up 18% of the market, but that would female gamers seventeen or under make up 17% of the market. A gender neutral result as far as I'm concerned. The percentage difference between the genders of adult gamers is a lot wider on the other hand, with adult male gamers making 35% of the audience compared to female gamers coming in at 30%.

Combine the 'essential facts' published by the ESA with a wider knowledge of the industry. Social[footnote]http://gigaom.com/2010/02/17/average-social-gamer-is-a-43-year-old-woman/[/footnote] and casual[footnote]http://www.igda.org/online/quarterly/1_2/casual.php[/footnote] gaming audiences skew towards a much older female audience, with once of the sources I've listed mentioning a female participation rate of 75%, and I begin to wonder how much of that adult female audience would be comprised of that non-core audience that wouldn't be interested in playing an FPS like Borderlands because their idea of a fun time would be playing a rousing game of solitaire.

If the games as they're currently presented are capable of attracting a near gender neutral result amongst younger gamers, what barrier then exists for an older generation of female gamers that doesn't similarly exist for older men?
 

D Moness

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Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Well this got ugly fast since the last time I ventured into this thread.

I guess tongue-in-cheek humor isn't for everyone apparently. Considering who is making Borderlands 2 I thought it was a given that anything they said about the game would be an exaggeration or funny.
Also shows a LOT of people do not read past the headline. It is mentioned MANY times the skilltree is called BFF (best friends forever) ingame.

Someone should have said he meant for his significant other.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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D Moness said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
Well this got ugly fast since the last time I ventured into this thread.

I guess tongue-in-cheek humor isn't for everyone apparently. Considering who is making Borderlands 2 I thought it was a given that anything they said about the game would be an exaggeration or funny.
Also shows a LOT of people do not read past the headline. It is mentioned MANY times the skilltree is called BFF (best friends forever) ingame.

Someone should have said he meant for his significant other.
That was my understanding too, and didn't he hint that the Mechromancer will have some abilities for players that want a challenge there will be a tree for that?

Ah well, it has been an amusing read nonetheless. :D
 

Lilani

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Frybird said:
You know the thing that makes me angry about your post is that you are basically advocating against game developers speaking openly and freely about thier games.

Yes, THERE ARE so many ways he could've worded it. Yes, HE USED A STEREOTYPE to describe this game feature.
But do you really, TRUELY think he wouldn't word it better if he did come up with a better term? Give me a break.

It was a poor choice of words, yes, but that happens in an open, unscripted conversation.

And you know what? I rather have game developers slipping up from time to time than not have them speak at all.

Because that is what you seem to want. We are talking about a lead designer here, not some public relations guy with a college degree in communication. So such things will happen unless game developers are only allowed to read pre-prepared, carefully worded, politically correct statements. And we have enough of this s**t in politics.

The thing that blows my mind is that just about everyone knows what he meant, and that he didn't meant to insult anyone, but still everyone bitches about it and makes it a big thing.

INCLUDING F**KING KOTAKU, who just a week before bitched and moaned about how game developers don't talk enough to the press...well...there you have the reason why.

Games journalism comes dangerously close to being on a level with newspapers like The Sun, Bild or The New York Post, and the games community goes right along with it for falling into every blown up controversy.

I weep for my hobby and my passion.
You know what makes me angry about your post? You're basically advocating the silencing of legitimate complaints of developers because you're afraid of how they'll feel about it. Seriously, are you trying to tell me I don't have a right to express the fact that his words offended me because you're fucking scared their feelings will be hurt, and that they'll hole up and never talk to us again?

You said it yourself they used a stereotype. Stereotypes are offensive, and he deserves to get called on for it. If KFC had some sort of press conference and their speaker made some sort of joke about chicken and a certain stereotype about black people, people would get mad at them about it, and for good reason. But you're sitting here saying "Oh, no! KFC hardly ever has press conferences! You can't complain about what they said because they might never speak to us again!"

Bullshit. I understand the gaming community has a terrible habit of making something of nothing, and it happens from both the male and female side. But I feel this is a legitimate complaint--and no, that doesn't always happen. Hell, I didn't mind what the dev of the new Tomb Raider game said about "wanting to protect her" (because in the full context of the article, I realized he was not referring to protecting her in the sense of protecting her because she's a female, but protecting her in the sense of wanting to see her through to the end and actually caring about what happens to her in-game). But this comment? No. Whether consciously or unconsciously, he gave a big middle finger to every female who plays games, and he needs to address what he said for the stereotype it is. It doesn't matter if he intended to insult anyone or not, the fact is he did, and when communicating in a public forum you have to take responsibility. That is the nature of public speaking.

Again, I realize the gaming community is probably causing developers to avoid these sorts of interviews and press conferences. But that certainly doesn't mean everybody with legitimate complaints should shut up, because even if we do that's certainly not going to stop any of the illegitimate complaints. So then rather than them getting both legitimate and illegitimate dissent, all they ever get is illegitimate dissent, and they have no reason to be careful about anything they say ever again.

Oh, and before you ask "But if you know he didn't mean to insult you, why do you want an apology from him?" I'll tell you why. It's because then I would know that he knows this isn't the 1990s anymore, and that females are a present and active force in the market and the sort of shit that might slide in his little development group is not going to slide with us.

Oh, and some alternatives which have been used MUCH more often than "girlfriend mode" when describing such game modes: Easy mode, beginner mode, relaxation mode, zen mode, novice. I could go on, but I think you get the point. "Girlfriend mode" was not the most accurate or the most prevalent term for the mode, and clearly a bit of slang he likes to use around the office and let slide during the interview.
 

D Moness

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Fiz_The_Toaster said:
That was my understanding too, and didn't he hint that the Mechromancer will have some abilities for players that want a challenge there will be a tree for that?

Ah well, it has been an amusing read nonetheless. :D
Yep so the character would be a substitute for the easy and difficult mode.

Honestly i like how the design looks. Also that BFF skilltree sounds interesting for me since i do like to play a few shooters now and then but i really suck at aiming(proven today again when i was replaying alpha protocol >.<). To bad it is a DLC that will be released 2 months after the game is released.

What is more funny is certain people claiming i should not play shooters because i suck at it, I play games that entertain me not because i am good or bad at them.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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D Moness said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
That was my understanding too, and didn't he hint that the Mechromancer will have some abilities for players that want a challenge there will be a tree for that?

Ah well, it has been an amusing read nonetheless. :D
Yep so the character would be a substitute for the easy and difficult mode.

Honestly i like how the design looks. Also that BFF skilltree sounds interesting for me since i do like to play a few shooters now and then but i really suck at aiming(proven today again when i was replaying alpha protocol >.<). To bad it is a DLC that will be released 2 months after the game is released.

What is more funny is certain people claiming i should not play shooters because i suck at it, I play games that entertain me not because i am good or bad at them.
I'm curious to know how the character's pet claptrap will work, it looks like a lot of fun.

I'm shit at shooters if I don't play them enough, and I don't. It takes me awhile to get back into the swing of things, but even still, my mind might go all retard on me and I will miss fantastically. I totally forgot about the DLC bit, and from what the devs have been saying the story is gonna take a while to finish, not that I'm complaining, but I just hope it's good.

I've had people tell me to stop playing Dark Souls because I'm shit at it, but I just can't quit it! :D
 

Schadrach

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Trilligan said:
Plus I've never had anyone explain how casual gaming isn't gaming. But that distinction is pretty fuzzy, as it is.

Damn it! I let myself get drawn in to the debate again. Nevermind, ignore me.
Probably because the "core gaming audience" and the "casual gaming audience" are basically entirely distinct market niches. Someone who plays MMOS, the Borderlands audience and the Darksiders audience have more in common than someone who sneaks some Farmville in from time to time.

If I'm selling, say, Halo XVII, I don't care about the Farmville players, because they historically haven't been interested.
 

Sparrow

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Moonlight Butterfly said:
Sparrow said:
Moonlight Butterfly said:
Sparrow said:
Aaaaand I'm suddenly reminded why I wanted this game. Haven't heard much about it lately, nice to get a little news on the Gearbox front.

Chairman Miaow said:
INB4 bitching about pre-order DLC and calling sexism because he said girlfriend tree.

Anyway. This sounds like a great idea, because my girlfriends main problem with borderlands was that she would die more often than me, and so if this perk tree can tip the scales a bit, we may get a LOT of playtime out of it.
Oh man, the post literally right after yours said it was sexist. It's shameful how ridiculous some of the users are getting on here. It's not sexism, you nit-picking white-knight wannabes. It's a funny name. Yeesh.
I'd be annoyed if that was actually what it was called and I'm a woman... it's not 'funny' and it is sexist.

I think most people would agree.
It really isn't sexist. It's a tongue in cheek joke. It's a funny little poke at the fact some guys play videogames with their girlfriends who have no idea what they're doing. The guy isn't saying "Women can't play videogames!", he's saying "Some folks can relate to this title in a humorous fashion!"

Honestly, if you feel insulted by it then you offend far too easily.
It is sexist because it singles out one sex and suggest they are not as good as another....that's pretty much the definition of sexism.

'Some folks' meaning men, while women can just sit there and be insulted yeah?

Edit: Oh look @Boudica fielded it for me.



Team Feminism.

(and yes we do spend most of our time fighting each other)
I guess I'm just having trouble relating, here. I mean, the way the guy said it wasn't venomous in any way. He made it pretty clear he was making a joke. If he was a dick about it (like, for instance, "We called it the Girlfriend Mode because women suck at playing videogames. Men are the superior gaming sex. Women are useless in every way") then I would side with you in a heartbeat, but... it's just a joke. If the shoe was on the other foot and someone made a joke about men being unable to do something, I'd probably laugh (if it was funny) but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to feel insulted.

Honestly, I think I foresee the two of us just having to agree to disagree on this one.
 

Mouse One

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Trilligan said:
Paradoxrifts said:
Mouse One said:
Nope. Industry sponsored surveys find that about 40% or so of all gamers are female. Include casual games and it's higher. Average age of gamers is 33 (not the same as age of buyer, which averages in the forties). Percentages are lower for consoles, but still around 25%.
Wrong. You're either woefully ignorant of the subject, or an outright liar.

Take your pick.
Um . . .

Poster you quoted said approx 40% female gamers. Plus more with casuals.

Your own numbers list 17% young females plus 30% older females for a total of 47% which includes casuals.

So I guess I'm not seeing the distinction, because those numbers are pretty close, given a decent margin of error on either side. Plus your numbers are larger.

Plus I've never had anyone explain how casual gaming isn't gaming. But that distinction is pretty fuzzy, as it is.

Aw, he got me. I'm an outright liar ;)

Seriously though, it does quite obviously depend on the platform and genre. Heck, one study that included casual games found that the average gamer was a woman in her early forties. Of course, this was at the height of the Facebook casual game craze. At the other extreme, console players are largely younger males-- again, only about 25% female in that group. MMOs and the like fall somewhere in the middle.

It's funny that so many gamers have the same "teenage boys and Comic Book Guys" stereotype about gamers that non-gamers do. We should know better.
 

Paradoxrifts

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Trilligan said:
Paradoxrifts said:
Mouse One said:
*Snip*
*Snip*
My point was that as the Entertainment Software Association's figures are a list of percentages, how you read and interpret them can make a world of difference on the information you walk away with. That's kinda the point of why the information is presented in the fashion that it is.

But both casual and social games are as much genres unto themselves as anything you might find being created in any of the AAA or AA development studios. Yet going ahead and then making an argument that the mere existence of audiences for these particular genres somehow makes one jolt of difference in the discussion of the demographical representation of the audience of an FPS, any FPS, unless you can demonstrably prove some link between the two is just plain stupid and/or dishonest.

Which incidentally is precisely the argument one makes when they fall back on them to pretend that female gamers have a greater percentage of participation in a genre then they can actually be proved or disproved with the relevant percentage provided by the ESA.

Also casual gaming is gaming, social gaming is gaming and I've never claimed otherwise.
 
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Chairman Miaow said:
INB4 bitching about pre-order DLC and calling sexism because he said girlfriend tree.

Anyway. This sounds like a great idea, because my girlfriends main problem with borderlands was that she would die more often than me, and so if this perk tree can tip the scales a bit, we may get a LOT of playtime out of it.
hah wowza, thank you for being much quicker than the PC people, twas a close one.

OT: It's actually a bit intriguing, but i don't have money to put the pre order down now so i'll be getting the game later and perhaps her if she doesn't cost a shit ton to buy.

and really? getting worked up over that tiny ass around the bush word choice?

I swear sometimes that I was installed with this thing called a "spine" at birth.
 

Kroxile

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DVS BSTrD said:
If you can't aim a pistol you shouldn't be playing Borderlands. Period.
Because Mordecai in the first one didn't already make "aiming optional"? lol

To no small surprise the very first facebook comment on this was crying sexism. Is it so much to ask the internet to stop being sooo goddamn butthurt every fucking time someone says something that's not 10000000% Politically Correct? My fucking god...
 

Something Amyss

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gmaverick019 said:
hah wowza, thank you for being much quicker than the PC people, twas a close one.
lol yeah, the ONLY way someone would think it was dumb was if they were politically correct.