Clown Prince (mongoose_bite) wrote in inclusive_geeks,
Clown Prince

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Borderlands 2: "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."

Those chicks, huh? They just suck at first-person shooters. Something to do with those lady-brains I guess.

Seriously, game designers, please think before your open your mouths. Or at least run what you intend to say past someone who can do it for you.
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This is why I'm often afraid to say I suck at first-person shooters. Because people will say it's because I'm female.

There are first-person shooters and fighting games I really wish I could play, and I wish there were ways for me to get into them more easily. And now someone else thinks of this but has to do it in a way that insults women.


August 18 2012, 03:56:48 UTC 4 years ago Edited:  August 18 2012, 03:57:18 UTC

I hear you. I'm a lot better at Zelda style 'hit B until you've bludgeoned it into money' combat but saying it makes you sound like less of a gamer.
Yeah, the whole 'for lack of a better term' is rediculous, there are heaps of non-offensive terms. Easy, beginner, casual, starting out and that's just off the top of my head - in fact most games have some kind of easy setting and they usually manage to indicate it without being offensive.
It's kinda like the lyrics to "Sexy B****" where Akon sings "I'm tryna find the words to describe this girl / Without being disrespectful". Just, seriously. Seriously? Does anyone believe that?

It would take five seconds, possibly a RANDOM WORD GENERATOR, to come up with a better term. Easy, beginner, casual, starting out, all good. May I also suggest:

Newbie mode.
Baby mode.
Sleepy mode.
Training wheels mode.
Starter mode.
Apprentice mode.
Ward mode. (See? See that one? That is ACTUALLY the first word I pulled off a random word generator. AND IT WORKS.)

I first learned of "girlfriend mode" under the much-better name "little sibling mode".
I suck at them and I'm a dude.

(Btw, the ones which helped me get used to FPS controls were Metroid Prime (for GameCube; I'm still fumbling with the Wii controls :/) and Portal. I still suck though, lol.)


4 years ago


4 years ago

Seriously, I love the shit out of quite a few FPS games but they're just not my thing as a gamer. I'd rather my husband play those (which are more up his alley) while I sit back and help spot important items and hidden enemies. (We make quite a team, really.) Stick me somewhat behind my avatar and I'm good to go, but FPS games give me vertigo at the wheel.

Meanwhile when it comes to playing co-op I'm always the huge-weapon(s)-wielding melee fighter and he's standing back casting spells. Harrumph. Game companies should rename the ranged fighters to the "boyfriend" class, really.

(Not really, of course. Just... where the fuck are they getting this women-suck-at-games thing from? Some dude on the dev team who has a girlfriend who kinda sucks at video games so they were like "lol women--" okay you know what, I already know and I hate that I already know all this. Fuck this stereotype so, so much.)
Argh yeah I do the same thing! Half of it is that the first-person viewpoint just makes me really claustrophobic because of the lack of peripheral vision, and the other half is that it just sucks hardcore trying to learn a new kind of game against a bunch of people who've been playing for years. Add in the whole 'it's because girls suck at this' and, yeah, I just stopped trying, I wasn't having the slightest bit of fun /:

It was at the point that I tried not to talk gaming at all because if you didn't play (specific genre that isn't friendly to newbies/women at all) you're 'not a real gamer'. Been playing since you were 3, but JRPGs + puzzle games are your favourite? NOT A REAL GAMER GO AWAY


4 years ago

Replying to an ancient post, but what gives you trouble with shooters? I might be able to suggest ways or games to help get you through it.

My "training wheels shooter" was Star Wars Battlefront II, which is actually a 3rd person shooter, so it's a bit easier to figure out where the enemies are relative to you. There's a mode where you just play against AI enemies on a particular map (I found Coruscant the easiest) and the good thing is that you just keep spawning after you die, so it's really, really forgiving. I'd just run in, spray and pray, die, spawn, spray and pray some more, eventually I got the hang of it. It was invaluable when I moved up to 1st person shooters.

Bioshock on easy is also pretty forgiving, and there are non-shooty things you can do that are a ton of fun (telekinesis lets you grab the bomb the enemy is throwing at you and throw it back, cyclone trap lets you mine the ground in front of you) if you want a break from shooting. And the story is fantastic.


4 years ago


4 years ago

Yeah, that's not "lack of a better term" Mr Man.
I suck at first-person shooters. I am female.

But I'm not the girlfriend of somebody who does play first-person shooters.

How about, you know, "novice skill tree" or "beginner skill tree"?
Welp, there goes my interest in playing the first one.
I got the impression it wasn't that great a game anyway. FPS as a genre has been stagnating for a while now; the last one I really enjoyed playing was Painkiller.
The first one was problematic but I really enjoyed it, fwiw.
Oh, fuck them. Seriously.

Not buying their games ever again. And just so they know, I'm the girl that could snipe them from across the map in just about any FPS.
And just so they know, I'm the girl that could snipe them from across the map in just about any FPS.

This. I'm all about stealth and accuracy. Of course as soon as they find out I'm a girl it's obviously because I'm not "man" enough to go running blindly into their bullets.


4 years ago

Well that's frustrating. Especially considering Borderlands' FPS-style combat is what made me finally get over my hang up about playing FPS games. It's actually pretty easy to master.

(Oh and I played the original Borderlands with my husband and I was the far better player, btw).

It sucks because I honestly think the intention to make games more accessible to newer players is actually a good one. Why did they have to couch it in such sexist terms?
You know, when I first heard about this mode I thought it was a great idea for my boyfriend. I love playing games with him, but he isn't interested in putting in the hours I usually do. (When I get into a game, I get into a game.)

Now I'm not even considering buying the game. I'm so damn sick of straight dudes making everything about them and their old-fashioned, stereotypical views of gaming.
Protip: If you want your girlfriend to play video games with you, try not insulting her intelligence by mansplaining the game to her.
I like the idea, as someone who never seems to be able to figure out FPSes. I want to strangle whoever came up with the completely stupid name.
Put this on my facebook and have just been told by two guy friends that I am totally over reacting about this and it's not THAT bad. >__
I don't understand why more dudes don't feel embarassed at the very least by the things said by people like those devs on their behalf. I know I do. It's like, is this how you want to be represented?

Given the response you got, apparently it is.
And yet you know if games started implementing 'guy mode' where (to pull out a stereotype) they explain the entire answer to puzzles to the player because guys are ~too dumb to figure it out~, there would (rightfully so) be people up in arms.

But that will never happen to them. So of course putting themselves in a woman's shoes for this sort of thing is just 'overreacting'.
My housemate saw that announcement last night and then said "I insist on being your girlfriend". My housemate is a guy.
Ugggggh. Was already really nervous about this after seeing the trailer, and this pretty much seals that I'm not going to buy it. The first one was enjoyable if problematic, but everything I've seen about the second is making me go, "oh, right, you guys are the ones that did Duke Nukem Forever".