The Better Name For 'Girlfriend Mode' Is Probably 'Co-Star Mode'

One of this morning's Internet dramas involved Randy Pitchford, head of Borderlands development studio Gearbox Software, complaining about the website MCV's condemnation of a reference to a "girlfriend mode" for Borderlands 2. The "girlfriend mode" is not an official mode in the game, nor does it appear to be an official name, but it was used by the game's lead developer in an interview with Eurogamer to refer to a new option to allow inferior gamers to play co-op with more skilled players.

MCV charged that even informally calling this kind of set-up "girlfriend mode" put Gearbox "dangerously close to stumbling into a sexism row of its own." Pitchford charged sensationalism and said that "Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode..."The future DLC Mechromancer class has a skill tree that makes it easier for less skilled coop partners (any gender!) to play and be useful."

The row brings up some of the familiar debates about games and games journalism. We've got some people pointing to the prospect that this Borderlands 2 design element is even referred to informally by the phrase "girlfriend mode" as another cause or symptom of the straight-male-leaning culture of mainstream video games. We've also got a rather upset game developer lamenting that the gaming press has made a scandal out of a snippet of a quote.

Eurogamer had quoted Borderlands 2 developer John Hemingway as saying, "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."

For lack of a better term, indeed.

There just might be a better term.

Here's another angle to consider here: the phrase "girlfriend mode" is unnecessary because someone -- people at Nintendo -- already came up with a better term: "co-star mode.' Co-Star mode was introduced in 2007's Super Mario Galaxy with the intention of letting a second player assist the first. The main player would have access to the game's full suite of Mario controls. The second player would use a Wii Remote to point out items in the world, freeze enemies, hold platforms and otherwise lend a hand. In an interview with his boss that was published on the company's official website, Nintendo's chief game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, described two scenarios in which this mode might be used:

What I originally had in mind were situations like a parent sitting by their child -- for example, a mother assisting her child. I also think it would be great if the opposite happened. I had a very strong image of the mother controlling Mario, while her child assisted her saying things like "Mum, there's an enemy over here!" A parent and child helping each other while they play was something that I wanted to make reality for a long time, and with Super Mario Galaxy, I strongly feel that situations like this could really happen. So I think there's a benefit to sitting next to a beginner and showing them how to play, and I think the two could have all sorts of conversations with each other as they play.

They may be a mere supporting actor, but "co-star" makes them sound so much important.

Miyamoto makes some assumptions about age, and maybe some about gender, but the end result is a rather wonderful term for what both the Super Mario Galaxy team did and what the Borderlands 2 team seems to be trying to do. The word "co-star" elevates the status of the second, presumably less-skilled player. It clearly labels them as something other than the best player. They are not the "star", but they are the guest, the visiting celebrity, the fellow great. They're the celebrity walk-on in a sitcom or the other actor who isn't being interviewed at the moment. They may be a mere supporting actor, but "co-star" makes them sound so much important. It's better than "girlfriend mode" or any other construction that would label the second player as inferior to the first (see: "casual mode," "person-who-sucks-at-games mode").

Today's main controversy may be about equating the term "girlfriend" with "one who is not skilled at games," and that conflation, applied to anyone in a gender, is certainly so broadly inaccurate as to be inappropriate for any game. In the examining of this term there is an opportunity to consider a whole other way of looking at this kind of system. We have here a chance to consider that the name of a system that welcomes in a less skilled gamers need not be named or referenced in a way that patronizes or denigrates the inferior player but instead might lift them up and make them feel welcome. Call them a co-star, regardless of which chromosomes they've got.


    This makes me cringe but it doesn't feel worth getting pissed off about. Just funny because I play Borderlands with my boyfriend and two of our male friends and I've never been behind, I've never done worse than any of them. And that Mario thing was funny actually, when I was first playing games it was with my mother who has always played as well, both of my sisters do too. My very first experiences of gaming were sat by my mother while I was Tails or Luigi. I don't know why people are going out of their way to try and be shitty when there have always been women who play videogames. Yes of course there are less, what do you expect when shit like this happens? I love the community generally speaking but sometimes it's hard not to be embarrassed of it.

    What a complete non-issue.

    There's a good chance that that developer has had a string of girlfriends that have not been interested in playing videogames -or have been really bad at them - so he defaults to "girlfriend mode" as it represents his own life experience. For an off-the-cuff, personal remark, I don't get why this is even approaching an issue.

      Because generalisations are bad and gender specific generalisations doubly so. If he had specified he was referring to his girlfriend and not girlfriends in general - implying only men play and need an easy mode to coax their unskilled girlfriends to play with them - this might not be an issue.

        Miyamoto's statements and generalisations of the role of women in a child-rearing scenario get a pass, even thought it can be equally offensive to both women and stay-at-home dads, but this is where everyone jumps up at down?

          I can't speak for everyone, but I personally was not aware of Miyamoto's remarks. I don't approve of that either.

          Not sure what your point was. We should ignore this issue because another similar issue was ignored in the past?

            No, more that this is a tiny comment to represent a scenario that may be personal and/or "popular" or frequent enough for it to not be a condescending cis-male white privilege remark, for once.

            The 2004 ESA study (assume all the usual rules for issues with studies, yadda yadda) found that only 25% of console gamers were female. If we assume that everyone is in a relationship, and the males/females in the student were in hetero relationships with each other, that would mean that 2/3 of male gamers had girlfriends who were not gamers.

            That's significant.

            On PC that went to just under 40%. Again, assuming direct relations here, that would still mean that 1/3 of male PC gamers had girlfriends who did not game.

            Also significant.

            Does it mean using gender-specific terms is great? No, of course not.

            Does it add context that may explain that this was not an intentionally offensive comment but rather reflecting a reality that John probably experienced many times growing up and getting to the position he's now in? Yes.

            So how does this relate? You can easily find a higher percentage of stay-at-home dads over a much longer period of time that would invalidate Miyamoto's statement. We have this statement here about females exercising their leisure time; we have Miyamoto essentially saying that the role of the woman is to stay home and raise the children.

            Which one received the most outcry?

              You're forgetting that in sensitive discourse you are never allowed to use a pejorative stereotype even if it's based on fact.

              "Aboriginals respect the land" is allowed. "Aboriginal communities have an alcohol problem" is not allowed.

                Good point. That does exist for a good reason.

                  To be clear, I think it's a silly rule if the writer is being reasonable. The intention of the writer/speaker should be considered, in my view. In this case I really don't think the designer meant to be sexist.

              Definetly not the Japanese guy :D

              I don't see how any of this invalidates my view that using any kind of gender-specific terminology that implies one gender is inferior to another should be acceptable. I don't agree with Miyamoto's views, and I don't represent the bulk of the gaming audience. I can't speak for other people. That Miyamoto's remarks went unremarked on is not the issue in play here. We shouldn't look to past examples and use them to excuse all current and future instances.

              I speak for me. I think this person chose his words poorly. I would like to see that acknowledged so we can learn from the error and move on, in order to improve this kind of thinking moving forward. I'm not up in arms about it, I just want to improve awareness to this kind of sensitivity. I'd consider it equally problematic if it was called boyfriend mode (irrespective of the gender of the speaker) even though in my specific circusmtances that would be the more true example. My wife will put more hours into Borderlands 2 than I will, and will probably be tanking for me in the bulk of our co-op sessions, just as she did in Borderlands 1.

                I don't believe it's implying inferiority of any sort or requires an apology. I believe this represents his equally valid experiences, and is being jumped upon by some people who look for every single PC infraction possible to blow it up out of all proportion and make a name for themselves with a story.

                  ^ Couldn't agree more. Nearly every comment I read about it makes me think people were waiting for something to grab onto and run like the wind with.

    What I want to see us Eandy and Fearbox admit it was a poor choice of words and promise not to do it again. I really didn't appreciate Randy's dodging of the issue and flat denials last night. No one thinks the idea is stupid, just the exclusionary and possibly sexist mentality of the design lead when he decided to use gender specific terminology when referring to relative skill level in an interview fora website.

    I don't think they're bad people and it people attacking Gearbox over this is a bad thing. Let's, once again, focus on the issue.

      *Randy *Gearbox.

      Dang iPhone keyboard on public transport makes for clumsy posting.

      So much whinging! Honestly, Matthew K, people like you make the world worse. Any time someone is slightly non-PC we get people plain out sooking. Not only was this never an issue in the first place (as it was an informal title used in-house that some idiot FOX News-like journalist exaggerated and ran with) but it shouldn't even be an issue if the mode was actually called "Girlfriend Mode". Obviously it's a joke! I wouldn't be offended if the Sims (with a largely female player base) had a "Boyfriend Mode" that involved defending your girlfriend's house from a horde of zombies. Oh my! But that would imply that I'm a big stupid boy who only likes killing things! And you know what - it would be a joke - and I wouldn't give two hoots.

        Actually if we take Randy Pitchford's word for it it was a personal anecdote based on that designer's personal experience. He made the mistake of using that terminology in an interview that was going to get a lot of attention worldwide.

        The fact that you personally would be amenable to your proposed "boyfriend mode" in the Sims is largely irrelevant. Some women get off on being called "slut", but I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it if I came to your house and called your girlfriend one.

          Ok, Matthew, you're usually reasonable but equating "boyfriend" with "slut" is a bit much.

            I admit that. I could have made my example without being crass (and to be clear I'm not actually calling anyone's girlfriend a slut).

            My point is just because one person is happy to tolerate something does not mean everyone is. You can't make remarks to a global audience and expect that to be ignored by everyone simply because some (or even most) people are alright with it.

            Let's say I'm a terrible cook (which by most standards I probably am), and my wife created a new oven that was completely idiot proof because of the new "Matthew mode". I'm sure there's a lot of professional chefs called Matthew out there that'd be "dude, what the hell?".

              Well they'd be "what the hell" until they heard she had a husband named Matthew who she thought was a terrible cook, then they'd laugh.

                Maybe. Which is why instead of denying what was said and continuing to miss the point, I would like Gearbox to acknowledge what was said and qualify it. Maybe apologise for the offence that was caused by the poor wording.

                I'm not saying that they have to, or that this will even matter in the long run. But it'll make the issue go away a lot faster.

        Your comparison is more than a little off. If they added a 'Boyfriend Mode' to The Sims that involved defending your girlfriends house from zombies they would indeed send a message that they think guys just like killing things. In the case of this though, the message they're sending is that women are less capable than men. Imagine instead if the theoretical 'Boyfriend Mode' instead unleashed a horde of house cleaners, personal trainers and other assistants to help your sims, because hey, you're a guy, you're no good at this stuff, right?

        Even assuming my clumsy comparison made sense though, it still doesn't explain why this is such a big deal. This is just one guy right, who made some remark and now everyone is getting on his case, what's the big deal?

        The big deal is that it's not just one guy, it's not just one remark. We live in a culture that sends messages like this all the time to women around the world, saying that they're inferior, that they're not welcome. We get people telling gamers 'let your girlfriend win and she'll suck your dick', or holding press events in strip clubs, or taking controllers away from women at E3.

        This isn't about just one man, it's about our culture as a whole and us deciding what we want it to be.

      I personally haven't read any of the resultant stories (apart from this one) for exactly the reason you stated. I don't want to see Gearbox, or Randy, or this designer, attacked for the issue. I don't want to support people who do that attacking I've only read the original story where the interview was quoted.

      I've also responded to your comment further down the page:

        This comment was supposed to be a reply to this comment:

      Neither Eandy and Fearbox nor Randy and Gearbox owe you anything, and certainly not an apology.
      You're offended by their comments ? That's easy to fix.
      Stop reading them, go somewhere else, and stop being so precious. Take your man purse with you.

      No one owes you a goddamn thing, offended or not.

        Until, of course, they end up offending you. Then it's a whole 'nother issue. It's always a "stop being too sensitive", right up until it hits your sore spot, then we gotta make room for your delicate feelings.

        Honestly, comments like yours sound ridiculous. You know what you forgot to add in your easy fix? Stop buying their games. But no, Gearbox doesn't want that! They are a major video game distributor, and they want everybody, man and woman, playing their game. Saying things like that basically means "girls suck at the game, they need help". Doubt many girls will want it after that.

        That said, I agree with what you are trying to say. The dude made an honest mistake. There is much more sexism in video games to get annoyed at other than this comment. If he was speaking to me, in person, I wouldn't mind the comment, as I'll know exactly what he is speaking about. But he is not, he is speaking to those "girlfriends" as well, so next time, he just needs to choose his words more carefully.

    When will developers learn that talking to the gaming media about your game just leads to trouble.

    You say "cause or symptom of the straight-male-leaning culture of mainstream video games" like it's a bad thing. Most "mainstream video game" players are "straight males" so that's naturally how the culture will lean. What's the problem with that? If a French person moved to New Zealand as a minority you would laugh at them for complaining that New Zealanders don't act French enough. And New Zealanders would be offended if people told them to be more French just to make the new person feel like they fit in.
    It's only a little interview and it's not going to stop any girl girls I've met buying it. So what makes you think there's any harm being done at all?

    Some people have to calm the hell down.
    Its not called Girlfriend-Mode. It was referenced as that ONCE and it may have been a joke.

    Bloody hell some people are WAY to sensitive about this stuff. If they brought out a mode called "GF is shit at FPS" mode then, yes, you can be annoyed.

    " It’s better than “girlfriend mode” or any other construction that would label the second player as inferior to the first"

    I think that maybe the problem here, is that people are assuming that "girlfriend" implies "inferior". I would certainly hope that my girlfriend would be considered equal, not inferior. I think it's only sounding offensive because you're taking it to mean what it doesn't (or shouldn't) mean.

      The reason people "assume" girlfriend equates to inferior in this example is because the particular example involves a "helper" skill tree that is suitable for people who might not be very good at games.

      No one thinks this is a bad idea. It might be suitable for a lot of inexperienced or less skilled players, many girlfriends included. It would never have shipped as "girlfriend mode" because no one at Gearbox is that foolish.

      It was a joke. One that was not well received. The upshot of making that joke is that now people believe the designers over at Gearbox have a sexist mentality and believe the only way women will play games is if their boyfriends give them a crutch.

      Now I'm sure that's not the case. But they've given people every reason to think that, by making a poorly-received joke.

        How can it be sexist if the term was based on that one designer's life experiences with girlfriends?

        If he had prefixed his statement with "In all of my love life, I've never had a girlfriend who was into FPSes, but would happily sit there and watch or shout out helpful comments. So, what I call 'girlfriend mode' is...." would it still be offensive?

          I would argue that there's no need to bring gender into it at all, but no, I don't think it would be as big an issue if he qualified his remarks with the preface that he calls it "girlfriend mode" because he personally has had girlfriends who needed some assistance with games and that's why he liked/created the idea.

          His comment was presented in a much more general fashion, based on the assumption that all men experience this issue. That's not only potentially an affront to their female partners, but their male onces as well.

            Yup, you're not wrong on that last bit.

    Lets play a game: who can be most politically correct?

      Me, because I can point out that we shouldn't be talking about who is the "most" anything since that implies some people are better than others.

      Slow news day.

    I wonder if the Mechromancer's stuck in a virtual kitchen until the 'hear me roar' perk is unlocked.
    Likely-to-be-offensive jokes aside, I wonder if I'd be upset if males were in the minority (an assumption on my part) and this were unofficially referred to as 'boyfriend mode'.

    Irregardless if its offensive or not, the term is fairly applicable for most of us.

    Probably a poor choice of words, but I don't see anything wrong with their intent. You would think it's far more likely a male B2 player would be enticing a female "partner" to play than vice versa.

    White knights stampeding through a non-existent battlefield yet again.

    Having said that, looking forward to playing this in co-op with my wife.

    I'll come out and say what no one wants to say. The only reason for this fuss is that there is a smidgen of truth to it. We suspect that's what's called internally. We all kind of seen it. Had they called it boyfriend mode everyone would have chuckle and move on

    Nintendo's co star mode is also spot on. That's how my then 7 years old played SMG with his grandma.

    My wife and I played through all Halos cooperatively, but forODST and Reach when I moved to harder difficulties she lost interest. Something like this would have worked for us.

      Oh, and to clarify a little. I don't mean to say that all females are inferior players. I'm sure there's plenty of girls out there who can unceremoniously kick my behind on a variety of games, FPS included.

      Just talking of what in my experience is the general case.

      I agree that "co-star" mode is an entirely appropriate name for this sort of mode. ME3 also got it right with their "Story Mode" - for players who love the story and want to play through but might struggle with the advanced combat.

      Context is also very important here. SMG is certainly a game that is suitable for children to play - so suggesting that co-star mode would be suitable for a young child to share with their parents or an older sibling is perfectly reasonable. Borderlands 2 is not a game that will be suitable for young children, so they're clearly aiming at older gamers who don't normally play shooters.

      I actually take issue with the Best Friends Forever tag. Where did they get their market research? Dolly Magazine? Last time I checked, only 12 year old girls used language like that.

      Yes, stereotypes exist, and yes, they often start from a grain of truth. But that doesn't make them less offensive to the people they are applied to, and we all need to acknowledge stereotypes when we see them and work harder to make sure we're not excluding or harming people for no reason other than laziness.

      For the record, I'm a 30+, married ro a gamer with a little boy and I've played Borderlands co op. Probably the sort of person Gearbox want to play Borderlands 2, except for the fact that they've gone about this in a dumb way.

        Thank you for this comment. As someone who cannot understand the furore, I appreciate it.

          Agreed, one must be careful not to offend, which is the reason I made that clarification, having said that...

          This reminds me of a story on the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday about male passengers being deeply offended because they were asked to change seats on a Virgin flight due to unaccompanied minors being right beside them (a policy of every airline, as far as I know).

          I was asked to move once, heard the reasons and did not take it personally. I stated those very same words in that discussion and got blasted for it.

          So, from someone who's been on the other side of these generalizations: people really need to chill.

    Oh, somebody please stop, I want to get off this planet.

    Screw Randy Pitchford - He made Duke Nukem, therefore he hates women and has an anti-woman agenda he's trying to implement into all his games.
    Screw Miyamoto - He thinks gorillas wear ties and calls them donkeys.
    Screw Girlfriends - If nobody had girlfriends then the phrase "Girlfriend Mode" would never have been uttered.
    Screw Videogames - that shit's for nerds.

      Also, Screw CliffyB - for making Gears 2 "girlfriend friendly" 4 years ago, even though nobody got themselves up in arms about it at the time.

    Come on, this is just being overly political. They didn't actually label it "girlfriend mode" in the game , which in a game like Borderlands would be the perfect name for the mode imo. (its audience is, typically, young males)
    I love the fact that games add these co-op modes and so does my wife who sucks at games but likes playing them with me. I'm guessing there are plenty more cases like this, hence the name.

      The issue, however, is that the guy who said this was a public figure from a prominent development company, and that he did say a sexist comment in an interview.

      A man in his position, especially in the situation that he was in at the time, needs to be very aware of what he says - because his words can, and do, reach and have an effect on a wide audience.

      Don't get me wrong, I think that this really is a case of a 'storm in a teacup' kind of issue, but the fact of the matter is that there will be a number of young (male) gamers who will look upon Hemingway's statement as an absolute assurance that girls are crap at games.

      Coming from the perspective of a girl who got into gaming a few years ago, I would probably get a lot of use out of a game mode like this one. And, yes, I probably am an inferior player in comparison to my boyfriend (at least as far as borderlands is concerned). But the implication that every girlfriend out there will need to use this "Best friends forever", dumbed down mode is not one that sits well with me, nor is the idea that there are young, impressionable boys out there lapping up this designers point of view.

    Let me get something very clear about this. I am not angry with the Borderlands 2 lead designer. His comment did not in any way make me angry, but it did disturb me.
    What did make me angry was people's reactions. Like it constantly being assumed in discussions on Twitter that I hadn't read/understood the article properly , and also people saying we shouldn't be getting upset/angry/making a fuss about it because he didn't really mean it. Or people saying that we shouldn't care because they themselves couldn't see why it was a problem.

    What he said was wrong. Yes, I fully understand the skill tree isn't actually called "Girlfriend Mode" (although BFF is bad enough :P ), but it still doesn't change the fact that he said it. I also understand he may not have meant it to sound derogative to female gamers' abilities but regardless, it's out there and it's disturbing because this is the way a lead designer of a big game thinks.
    So if even the big guys making the games we play assume their product is not for girls unless they dumb it down, how can we hope for the attitude of other gamers towards females to be positive? It's an attitude filtering right down from the top of the gaming food chain. There was no need to bring gender into it at all. Calling it "sidekick mode" or something like that would have been fine. But he did bring gender into it so now he has to understand that it was wrong and be more aware of this in future.

    It's also wrong for anyone who doesn't care about this to tell me I shouldn't care either. I understand people have a great deal of affection for Gearbox and their games and that as a developer they've done great things outside of their games like arranging marriage proposals for fans and rescuing Duke Nukem Forever. This does not mean they get a free pass when it comes to what they're saying in interviews. It means they have even more responsibility to make sure they're setting a good example for the people who look up to them.

    So please don't overlook that it was a very wrong thing to say, regardless of the intentions of the sayer, or the goodwill you feel toward the developers. And most definitely please do not overlook that just because you didn't feel like anything was wrong, other people shouldn't be discussing it and feeling disturbed or wronged by it.

      Reply fail?

      You’re the best, Strange. This is pretty much exactly how I feel about the whole thing!

      Could not agree more

      I absolutely agree with everyone you've said here, Lady Strange. But I still think that the intense kneejerk reaction and virtriol targetted at Gearbox Software was over the top. I was personally more interested in providing context about the mode in the setting of the game than anything else. I never once said (and never will say) that what the lead designer said was alright or acceptable in any way, shape or form.

      I agree with the majority of your statement, However I find issue with this particular point "What he said was wrong". It is possible that he has a had experinces in the past that validated this statement, at least from his perspective, but it was presented in an incorrect fashion. I would say that what he said was neither right nor wrong, but the way in which he conveyed his ideas was less than intelligent.

      If things don't go your way, keep complaining until all your dreams come true.

      Amen. Just because it wasn't intended to offend, doesn't mean it didn't. I don't think any of them should be crucified for it by any means, but I do hope that they might just think twice before saying something else like that in the future, and set the standard for others.

    You're the best, Strange. This is pretty much exactly how I feel about the whole thing!

    What's wrong with the actual term for this? Asymmetrical Co-op.

    You know what I think is crazy? If the developer was gay, and used the term boyfriend mode (because his past boyfriends were non-gamers) this article wouldn't exist.

    I don't have a problem with the term "Non-gamer romantic partner mode", which is pretty much what he said.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

      I like the irony in this post, seeing as how not a single person posting here thinks that's what it will be called "in game".

      Dumb shits indeed, sir.

        Some people do. Why else would they have a big cry over something so small and stupied as this? Unless... unless they have no life... but, everyone has a life... so that can't be it...

    I don't even understand why this is an issue. Yes, he used a stereotype. I bet no one would be angry if he said "little brother mode", or "grandpa mode". But, somehow the "girlfriend" stereotype is the forbidden zone. Sigh.

      I think its cos people don't like the idea of being called a girl. Even if they are one.

    From my perspective, the problem with what Hemingway said is in the context. If he wishes to believe that all girlfriends playing Borderlands II will need an easier time of it, then that is his opinion, which he is entitled to.The issue that I have with it is that he made it public and he holds a position of power within the industry.

    As a lead designer from a prominent games developer, he has a position of authority and, in many ways, holds a position that many young males aspire to. By putting forward this opinion in a public interview, he is validating the idea that girls are not as good as guys at gaming and reinforcing that opinion in the minds of those who aspire to be just like him.

      Sorry, this is drawing a vastly long bow. I'm going to assume you have zero experience in behavioural psychology and are jumping to inane conclusions.

      One person (highly debatable what "authority" he has) says something, so a legion of idiots nod and enhance whatever sexist views they supposedly harbor? Really?

        You can assume whatever you like js.

        Ironically though, this issue has very little to do with behavioural psychology (which is focused on cocepts such as learning through training and positive and negative reinforcement) and a lot more to do with social psychology. Unsurprisingly, as a psychology teacher, I have done my homework on that point.

        More to the point, people in the public eye need to be aware of what they are saying and the fact that many people, including children, will have access to that.

        I know what he says was a gaffe, I understand that it was made in jest, but that doesn't change the fact that it was said. Maybe Hemingway just needs some PR lessons.

    I would happily go without soap, if it meant some people didn't get a damm soapbox to stand on ANY time something like this happens. An off the cuff remark, with no malicious intent, and suddenly this guy is sexist/Gearbox promote sexism/whatever you want to complain about?

    I swear, if people spent half as much time doing something productive, instead of looking for things to complain about and then doing so on the internet, this world would be a much better place.

    The problem with naming it "Co-star" mode is that the Mech-romancer is just another class in the game that happens to have some skills that make it a little more accessible for people to play the game. It's nothing to do with assisting the main player/s and in other circles would be called the noob class. It's to BL2 what Death Knights were to WOW and Demon Hunters are to Diablo 3.

    On the topic of the "Girlfriend Mode" controversy, it's rather amusing that people get all up in arms about it, but when a magazine like Cleo posts articles about "How to live with your Gaming Man-Child Boyfriend", no one bats an eyelid or calls foul. Personally, I think the term "Girlfriend Mode" should be taken from the respect that it allows girlfriends, who are often disinterested in FPS games, to become engaged in something their boyfriend likes, giving them more ways to enjoy things together.

    I love this article. No only does it call out the issue, but it also provides a constructive solution. Good on you kotaku, thanks for continuously trying to make the gaming world more accepting of non-typical gamers.

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