Regardless of your race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, I personally want Gearbox to be an open and welcoming place to you. I can only speak for myself, of course – I'm just a jerkbag writer who's been in the industry for less than five years – but I believe that you can see evidence of attempts at inclusivity throughout Borderlands 2.
I try my best to keep a level head when it comes to the conversation of sexism within the gaming industry, but every now and again, even an inebriated Bear needs to just explode and this is where it's going to happen.
Anthony Burch has just posted an article about inclusivity over at Gearbox and I can't help but laugh and also frown. There's also an added pinch of brow raising, yoyo style going on. Not because it's genuinely a comedic piece of writing but because it's is completely hypocritical, ironic and blind that Gearbox of all studios is writing about such a topic as including everyone and creating games that aren't following the age old trend of blatant misgony.
Having Gearbox talk about inclusivitiy is like having Anita Saakersian host and sponsor a wet t-shirt competition.
Ellie specifically bucks against the stereotypes that all female video game characters must conform to mass-market definitions of beauty
Some of the things he's said has made me question whether or not he realises what he's saying or if he has extremely bad eyesight. It boggles the mind.
He describes Ellie from Borderlands 2 as being a more realistic design of a woman.
Excuse me but how on earth can he say and believe that. Ellie...is more realistic and going against the grain of how women are usually oversexualised and presented in games? Oh ok so women are either extremely skiny, big breasted sex objects or they're gigantic opposites? The more realistic, or close to is just a regular woman. Just a woman! In Borderlands, that woman should have guns and shoot people like a badass. There you go, the very basics of character creation, done for you by someone not working in the develpment sector of gaming. It's extremely easy to create the bare bones or characters and not be offensive. It's very hard to understand how you could actualy make such ridiculous statements, there's no excuse for it.
I will give Burch this
Now, why are these characters gay or bisexual? The answer is simple: we wanted to make our cast more diverse and inclusive, and it cost us effectively nothing to do so.
It costs nothing to design characters ing ames that aren't over muscled, square jawed white american copypastas.
Gearbox brought to us Duke Nukem Forever and they should have left it in a dark pit of lava and acid. That game brought nothing enjoyable to the world and it only made Gearbox look incredibly sleazy and somewhat sickiening to many people, myself included.
The game begins with Duke getting a blowjob (remember those games where a woman protagonist received oral sex, then had to dash off to same some men?)
Then later on, Earth women are kidnapped and raped by aliens, also being subjected to alien impregnation. Duke makes jokes as they are melded to walls, moaning in agony. There's no escape, there's only death to free them and they weren't fleshed out characters either. Simply character models of women used for the purpose of reminding us what women are useful for in the eyes and world of Duke Nukem. He slaps mutilated gloop ceiling titties and says lines like "you're fucked". It's a complete mockery and display of vileness.
It's not humorous Gearbox and it sure as heck does not make you the right people to be making statements about inclusivity. Have you even ever responded to peoples complaints about the game? You looked at that script and ok'd it. What is wrong with you?
Even aside from this, the game was just dreaful anyway. I won't go into Alien Colonial Marines, as you can only be unaware of what the general consensus of that game amongst gamers was, for so long. But you get one female character in the game and she's not that likeable and she dies. Aliens is not a film just about Xenomorphs. It's about a badass woman who survived trying to be killed by Aliens and her fellow corrupt kind at the same time, dealing with loss on a repetitious harrowing skill and still fighting. Just because you were given license to a great franchise doesn't mean you can alter the essence of it's story and for the worse. Her name is Ellen Ripley, don't forget it.
Read the article for yourelf, I may be just coming across as a crazy cat lady (there are a bunch of kittens draped upon me as I write this anyway. I know Burch starts off by saying that he isn't an expert and he's just but a lowly writer, but that's not a buffer excuse. I also know that he gave other examples of inclusivity, but it's hard to just commend the guy when some of what he said highlights a counter productive, prolonging of issues that game developers still allow to be.
People aren't blind Gearbox, but sometimes when it comes to some of your games and decisions, it might be best if we were.