Monday, August 13, 2012

Girlfriend Mode?

Just to preface this, I'm not one of those types of gals that run out to grab the pitchfork and torch whenever I see something sexist in gaming. I'm a fan of such games like Bayonetta and Catherine and I find entertainment in breast physics and scantily-clad female fighting game warriors. But I really can't grasp why of all things Borderlands 2 decides to add a skill tree with assisted targeting and basically call it "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," said lead designer John Hemingway. "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." -- from The Escapist News

I've had guy friends with inept girlfriends who keep trying do couple time during game time so yes, I can see where this might be helpful and keep the guy from being exiled to the couch with the gf's vagina in no entry mode when he gets frustrated that she's wracking up friendly fire and explodes. But I know guys that can't shoot worth shite too. Is it really necessary to refer to it as Girlfriend Mode? And isn't it more useful in the long run to have that even playing field and have the lady learn how to lead with the sniper rifle or how to headshot with a revolver? I mean honestly, if we want something that will just go running around and kind of aiming in the right direction, just give them an SMG or shotgun and let them have a blast or just get a good pair of Significant Other noise-cancelling headphones and use NPCs where available.

I don't think it's necessarily the gamer's responsibility to teach. I do expect them to have some patience with their "sweetie babe" or whatever they wish to refer to their girl parts but I believe the non-gamer should learn on their own and get better, not assume things will eternally be in easy mode with aim-assist on. Hm, I think there's a relationship lesson in this somewhere as well, heh.

In the end, my point is that it's rather rude to have it called a "girlfriend mode" by the lead designer. Noob mode? That could have been used and everyone would still understand it perfectly. And as a bonus he wouldn't have a bunch of angry ladies that know how to use a firearm targeting him.



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