She said yes. You’re dying to know, and Kotaku can confirm that for you now. Even though her marriage proposal came from a smart-aleck robot and contained references to herpes and, well, the big A, last night Tora told Ben yes, she will marry him,
The proposal, delivered by Borderlands’ comedy-reliefbot Claptrap in a video developed over a week by Gearbox Software, did not conjure images of bended knees, rose petals and those silhouetted DeBeers ads. It was a little inappropriate. That’s OK. “We’re a little inappropriate,” Tora said.
“I think ‘Wow,’ has replaced 90 percent of my vocabulary,” said Tora, a diehard Borderlands fan like her fiance, Ben. “Every time I try to say something it’s just, ‘Wow.’ ‘Holy crap.’ ‘Wow!’ It blows my mind Ben was not only able to think of this, and he had the courage to try it and ask Gearbox to do it, but they actually responded and were more than willing to help out.
“From a gamer’s point of view, what more could you ask for than this?” she said.
Rewind: Ben and Tora live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, not far from Gearbox’s Plano headquarters. When they first met, Ben had to have a very serious, somewhat uncomfortable conversation about his lifestyle. You know: “I’m a gamer.”
As luck would have it, so is Tora. Neither knew of the other’s video game habit until Ben brought it up. And Borderlands was easily the favourite game of both. (They’re both level 61, Ben playing as Roland, Tora as Lilith.)
“One of the greatest indicators, early on, that we were compatible, she found a red chest, and in it she found a caustic rocket launcher. And she started giggling,” Ben said.
“I’m really bad at video games, so I do a lot of RPGs,” Tora said. “I picked up Borderlands and, hey, I love the guy, but I kinda kicked his arse.”
“She did,” Ben affirms. “I’ve been playing first person shooters since Wolfenstein 3D.”
So a few months ago, as it became apparent that they were headed for the wedding aisle, Ben hatched a crazy plan. Not really a plan, actually, just a request. Would Gearbox send Claptrap to do a proposal video? If not, no biggie, Ben said, he still wanted the studio to know that they are big fans of the game and grew close while playing it.
To Ben’s surprise, Gearbox said yes. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford himself got involved, Ben said. “He was one of the biggest pushers of the idea, saying ‘We really need to do something on this,'” said Ben, who met Pitchford a couple of times when he visited the Gearbox office to work on the video.
“Adam Fletcher, he’s the one who contacted me originally and was working on this video left and right,” Ben said. “I really have to thank him. Chris Faylor, also, he did a lot of work to build the video.”
With the proposal shot and ready to go, Ben needed a cover story for getting Tora and 50 friends together without tipping off he was popping the question. His birthday is coming up, so that was ostensibly the purpose of last night’s party. And as for the video, “I told everyone I would be showing the trailer for Borderlands II.”
It ended up being a more exclusive reveal than that.
Ben did drop to his knee and present the engagement ring, which Tora accepted, and then the two locked lips as everyone cheered. Fade out, up the music, roll credits.
Wait, hold on a sec.
“He got to go to Gearbox?” Tora said. “I was like, ‘You bastard, I want to go!'”
The couple will visit the studio sometime in the next week. And Gearbox is invited to their wedding in August.