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Release Date: September 18, 2012

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Gearbox: Borderlands 2′s Easy Mode Not Really Called ‘Girlfriend Mode’

Posted on August 13, 2012 AT 02:35pm

An unfortunate choice of words blew up in Gearbox’s face today, as Borderlands 2 lead designer John Hemingway revealed details about a ‘girlfriend’ mode made specifically for people who “suck” at first-person shooters. As the term made its way around the Internet, Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford was forced to step in and debunk the controversy.

During an interview with Eurogamer, Hemingway referred to the Mechromancer’s “Best Friends Forever” mode as a “girlfriend” mode for players who couldn’t aim or shoot:

“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.”

One of the first skills available in the BFF tree is called Close Enough. This means your bullets that hit walls or other objects, that is, miss their target, have a chance to ricochet off towards the enemy.

“Can’t aim? That’s not a problem,” Hemingway said.

Although it’s not the official name of the skill tree, the term made headlines today as a small controversy in the works. However, Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford took to Twitter to call out the lack of sexist intent, stating that the “Best Friends Forever” skill tree is meant for players of any gender.



Pitchford also seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing, noting that Borderlands 2 was the #1 trending topic on Twitter during the news cycle. So, that’s probably the end of the issue, right?

Perhaps, but maybe not. Despite the company’s insistence at the lack of sexism, that Mechromancer skill tree name could (and will likely) be seen as a dig at women playing the game—especially since ”best friends forever” is commonly a term associated with non-romantic interpersonal female relationships.

Source: Eurogamer

McKinley Noble, Contributing Editor
McKinley Noble has been writing about video games for seven years as a blogger and journalist, with each job adding to his painstakingly alphabetized collection of retro gaming memorabilia. When not cracking jokes about the gaming industry, he's a talking encyclopedia when it comes to mixed martial arts and anything MMA related. Follow him on Twitter: @KenTheGreat1. Meet the rest of the crew.

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