Getting Furious Over "Girlfriend Mode"

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I told you you didn't get what the PLEASE was meant to say, and you didn't. I'm not trying to say that you're begging for anything or clamoring for attention. Saying PLEASE is my way of abbreviating the slang phrase "n*gga please" I'm sure you know.

Everything I've said in this thread has been trying to rephrase what you just said, that the root problem is the culture and not the guy. What I've been trying to get across is that I think the root problem is more important than criticizing hemmingway for being affected by it.

You also still don't get that his statement does not suggest he thinks girls don't play games, he thinks all girls are bad at games or any of that shit. All it's saying is that his girlfriends have been worse than him at videogames. How is that so hard to understand.

It might've actually helped your point dramatically if you'd provided the preface to his comment that seems to be of such critical importance to your argument. I haven't seen it yet and since you've apprently given up on this I'll probably not see it at all.

On the idiot thing, well. This is what you said: "And of course anyone who thinks women should be disadvantaged over having less average physical strength should be ignored as an idiot... "

You might have noticed I didn't actually say that. I made an analogy in which a hypothetical character is being accused of implying that while he actually says something else. I don't know if you didn't read that or you don't understand hypothetical analogies, but I don't see the part of your post in which you called me an idiot.

Which is bad debating by the way, kinda like calling something silly without actually refuting it is.

edit: If you were actually concerned about me(which is kind of ridiculous in the first place, being concerned about someone with an opposing(not even that) or slightly different viewpoint as if anyone who doesn't agree with you is impaired or something) you wouldn't just call me an idiot and bail.

Wow. I can't decide what's more depressing-- the idea that Escapist is now pandering to the portions of its audience that want to defend Hemingway's remark, or the idea that the author believes it is defensible.

Narcogen:
Wow. I can't decide what's more depressing-- the idea that Escapist is now pandering to the portions of its audience that want to defend Hemingway's remark, or the idea that the author believes it is defensible.

Oh my god, people with different opinions are allowed to voice them! How depressing!

edit: You f*cking serious?

DrOswald:
I personally don't think the whole girlfriend mode thing was anything to get upset about, which is what bothers me about this article. To me, "Girlfriend Mode" doesn't mean "women can't play games." It means that very often the significant others of a gamers are not gamers themselves, and this was clearly the intention.

Unfortunately, the use of individual metrics in this case is unhelpful. Anyone can cite anecdotes to support one side or the other. "I'm a girl gamer, and I'm not offended" or "my girlfriend doesn't see what all the fuss is about" or "well it's true that girls aren't good at shooters AMIRITE?"

The yardstick is not whether the phrase "girlfriend mode" translates to "women can't play games" for you, for me, or for everyone. It is whether it can be read that way, and whether that reading is more or less reasonable than others. I suggest it can plausibly be read that way-- more plausibly than any other reading, which requires a bit of "well what he really meant was X" mental gymnastics.

DrOswald:
We don't need to talk about this. He was not being sexist. The use of gender specific wording does not always track to a gender specific meaning, and I firmly believe that his intention was not gender specific.

This is rank revisionism. Words mean things. Gender-specific wording DOES always track to gender-specific meanings, or else there's no point in using such wording. This is yet another application of No True Scotsman. You start with "Hemingway was not being sexist, because Hemingway is not a sexist, therefore what he said must not have been sexist, and so we conclude with a non-gender-specific interpretation of a gender-specific term.

The contortions are clearly painful. If a gender-specific term was not most applicable, it should not have been used. The use of just about any gender neutral terminology-- including the one the game itself uses-- backed up with an anecdote from his own experience placing himself in the role of the 1st player, with the mode applied to the second, in this case, Hemingway's girlfriend, would most likely not have attracted any attention whatsoever.

Hemingway appears to be so in love with the term that he used it-- even though he prefaced it with the phrase "for want of a better word" and even though it's not called that in the game, which leads me to believe there's a clear head somewhere, even if it belongs to neither Hemingway nor Pitchford.

I don't how how sexist Hemingway is or isn't. I do know he used a term that is, and rather than apologizing for it, both he and his boss have adopted a bunker mentality instead. This article seeks to blame the critics for their response and seeks to advise gamers who want the genders treated equally-- regardless of whether or not they currently enjoy parity in terms of skill or numbers-- that we would catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar.

I'm wondering why we're trying to catch flies.

Num1d1um:
Snip

Putting words in my mouth. I never said anything about girls not playing games. Alot of us already know the root problem. We still criticize people for making mistakes regarding it, letting them fester in their mistakes isn't going to happen. I know you didn't say that, I'm just saying your example that if anyone agreed with it, their opinion on the subject isn't valid. I never said you said it. I just said your comment is also stupid.

I did refute it, you keep making up words and sticking them in my mouth and then refuting them. Your viewpoint doesn't mean anything to me.

Tiamat666:
In the minds of many, Hemingway was proving the existence of the casual sexism that is endemic in videogame development and culture by playing off the tired stereotype that women either don't play or are bad at shooters.

There, that was his initial sentence, which was followed with...

Tiamat666:
That's not a sexist, tired stereotype, that is a fact.

He's saying it's a fact we are bad or don't play shooters. Not much else to say.

We know the cause, we know the symptoms, letting the symptoms have free reign because we know the cause would in fact, be silly.

Num1d1um:

Narcogen:
Wow. I can't decide what's more depressing-- the idea that Escapist is now pandering to the portions of its audience that want to defend Hemingway's remark, or the idea that the author believes it is defensible.

Oh my god, people with different opinions are allowed to voice them! How depressing!

edit: You f*cking serious?

Yes, I am serious.

I am not depressed that he is allowed to express his opinion.

I'm depressed that he holds the opinion that the real problem is the reaction to Hemingway's use of the term, instead of his use of the term itself, because that strikes me as pandering to the baser instincts of the site's audience, something I believe the site has studiously avoided in the past. I'm depressed that in this exchange, he thinks the problem is essentially an overreaction-- that being offended is a a bigger problem than blatantly sexist terminology.

The interest of the gaming press in defending Hemingway is clear: nobody wants studios to tell developers to stop talking to the press because they're afraid of causing a problem like this, so the severity of the problem is being downplayed. I'm depressed the Escapist would be party to that, because that's not the sense of the site's editorial vision I have developed over years of reading it.

You know I'd make the effort of replying to that but seeing as it's apparently depressing to you that I'm allowed to post here and you're obviously not open to any kind of serious discussion, I'm not gonna do it.

edit: this was a reply intended to your previous post

KrystelCandy:

Num1d1um:
Snip

Putting words in my mouth. I never said anything about girls not playing games. Alot of us already know the root problem. We still criticize people for making mistakes regarding it, letting them fester in their mistakes isn't going to happen. I know you didn't say that, I'm just saying your example that if anyone agreed with it, their opinion on the subject isn't valid. I never said you said it. I just said your comment is also stupid.

I did refute it, you keep making up words and sticking them in my mouth and then refuting them. Your viewpoint doesn't mean anything to me.

Tiamat666:
In the minds of many, Hemingway was proving the existence of the casual sexism that is endemic in videogame development and culture by playing off the tired stereotype that women either don't play or are bad at shooters.

There, that was his initial sentence, which was followed with...

Tiamat666:
That's not a sexist, tired stereotype, that is a fact.

He's saying it's a fact we are bad or don't play shooters. Not much else to say.

We know the cause, we know the symptoms, letting the symptoms have free reign because we know the cause would in fact, be silly.

Wow.

Really, wow.

If you actually refuted my point, why did you tack an insult on top of that?
If you actually were concerned about anything, why does my viewpoint mean nothing to you? And if it does, why do you reply to my fucking posts after claiming you'd leave?

On the topic of my example, opinions can, by their very nature, not be invalid. If you really think calling something or someone silly or stupid somehow proves that they are indeed so, you're mistaken. If you think claiming how much you don't care while continuing to post demonstrates that you're above this in some way, you're also mistaken. People who have proper arguments don't need insults to get them across. People who properly refute points don't have to reinforce that with petty labels.

I'm gonna do an exercise in your style of argument now and just call you stupid, haha I win. Oh wait I don't. But I guess you kinda win the game because I've spent an entire page trying to get a point across to someone who is obviously not interested in an argument, so I for one am actually going to stop now. And you know what, even though you don't give a fuck about my opinion or me or anything related to that, I'm gonna stop posting entirely. Kinda like you opened an account to tell me how much you don't care. One could cut the irony with a fucking knife.

Num1d1um:
Snip

Because I thought you were being dumb and I'm being consistent across all my posts.

I am concerned because you keep using strawmen to support your arguments rather than facts.

Your actual viewpoint means nothing to me because I cannot actually have a debate with you with you making things up about what I said.

Depends what the opinion is on, an opinion can in fact, be wrong, if not invalid. If someone hates women and think they should be marginalized due to physical attributes, their opinion on women cannot be held in any kind of rational discussion with women. Therefore it is not valid for the purposes of that discussion. This does not mean invalid however, but for the sake of such a discussion it cannot provide any kind of meaningful input.

Again, my insults are simply because I keep answering yours, and I'm being consistent across all my posts about what I intended by the term.

You'll note I take the time to actually say things before I call you stupid. I never swore in any other way, you're the one who keeps getting angrier and angrier.. despite ostensibly agreeing with me that the problem is the culture not the person.

You are being dumb for defending the initial post because he was being dismissive of the female population. Say your own opinion, don't defend a bad one then state your opinion, it becomes easy to conflate the two.

If you can't tell by my stilted sentences, I had changed my mind and have kept responding to you. I didn't open the account to tell you you didn't care, I opened it to point out the fact you were defending someone who shouldn't have been defended.

Now you need to stop being so OFFENDED about it, thank you.

Moonlight Butterfly:
Well as long as everything is catered to you I guess it's all okay.

They were basically saying all women who play games are idiots and only play because their boyfriend is playing.

That's bloody stupid.

No it isn't but this is the reason why we can't have nice things.

Girlfriend mode is for the girls who don't play games, can't play games and otherwise won't play games.
It's to get them into the game and to play with their boyfriend easily and not be too overwhelming, it has absolutely nothing to do with women who do already play video games.

Next we'll be calling student cookbooks condescending and offensive because all the recipes are simple, easy to use.
Obviously we're insulting their mental capacity as individuals.

My wife thought "Girlfriend mode" was a cute name for a nice idea. But then, this is the woman who demands I play FPS and Action/Adventure games for her. She doesn't play, but she loves to watch me play. Honestly, aren't there better things to spend your time/energy/bandwidth being offended about?

Lyri:

Moonlight Butterfly:
Well as long as everything is catered to you I guess it's all okay.

They were basically saying all women who play games are idiots and only play because their boyfriend is playing.

That's bloody stupid.

No it isn't but this is the reason why we can't have nice things.

Girlfriend mode is for the girls who don't play games, can't play games and otherwise won't play games.
It's to get them into the game and to play with their boyfriend easily and not be too overwhelming, it has absolutely nothing to do with women who do already play video games.

Next we'll be calling student cookbooks condescending and offensive because all the recipes are simple, easy to use.
Obviously we're insulting their mental capacity as individuals.

Only student cookbooks aren't aimed at a single gender....I'm pretty sure there are guys who are a bit pants at games too.

Rarhnor:
I honestly read girlfriend mode as a joke, and as such laugh it off as one. This is like a non-issue. The value of offense is, how invested you are in identifying it with yourself or others.
If you're not a newbie, then why make an issue out of it, and just laugh at it for 5 seconds, and proceed to not patronize the person for it. If you ARE a new player, then you can take comfort in knowing that it's a joke (a silly one, but a joke all the same), and the only harm it'll do is show, if your partner takes it serious.
Why not just embrace the joke, and transcend IT and the issue?

WHITE GUYS CAN'T DANCE! Are you gonna be mad at that statement as well?

If we were all dancers and this were a news site for dancing, I might be a little upset. Well no, because I can't dance. The point remains, if one of the judges on those idiot tv shows said it, yeah I think some people would reasonably be mad about it.

Vault101:

surg3n:

What if that girlfriend mode is absolutely spot on the truth - that out of the small percentage of girlfriends who will play Borderlands2 with their boyfriend, will absolutely suck at it - to the point of ruining said boyfriends game.

they arent calling it "girlfreind mode" theres no need to call it that..while its not "rage inducing" offensive..its still stupid enough to get eye's rolling

I think it's an awesome idea, and call it Girlfriend Mode,

no one is disputing the Idea behind the mode itself...just the naming and the implication of said naming..again, no need to call it "girlfrend mode"

and if any women are offended, well buy them 50 shades and a bottle of wine, and that will shut them up, leaving you to enjoy your game in peace.

are you fucking serious? that statement right there is actually more offensive than this whole "girlfreind mode" fiasco

I'd wager any girl who is going to get offended by this is not the kind of person to buy into horrible crap like 50 shades of grey....in fact I'd even go as far to say ALOT of women don't actually buy into 50 shades of grey and think its good..much like people in this demographic will talk about the "so bad its good" cheesy movies they love to watch...51% of people are not that fucking stupid

why is "liking stupid shit" implied to be a mostly female thing? ok sure alot of stuff targeted towards us is absolute shit, but men like their fair share of stupid shit too.

Political correctness can drag all the fun out of just about anything - it's bad enough on YouTube, but Twitter is just an endless parade of bitter blow-hards... that's why I won't join twitter, too much competition :D

Political correctness these days is just a card people pull to justify them saying stupid/bias things

seriously..if you feel the need to pull "political correctes" as some kind of point in your favour it does nothing good for you credibility or how much I'll buy into your argument

Well first off, I wasn't even halfway serious about that 50 shades comment :) - I was generalising women in the same way that the media does to men and women. The bottom line, is that Borderlands is a game that women can find interesting, that 'girlfriend mode' is intended to appeal to couples playing the game together - they can't call it kid mode, because they can't breach age restrictions etc. The blowjob comment was just stupid, and probably detracted from the intended humour that is a key part of Borderlands appeal, at least IMO.
I think there's something that other developers can learn from Borderlands, it's a complex FPS game that can appeal to people who probably wouldn't play a FPS usually, they are trying to highlight that. Hell, it makes a change from the current trend of super-difficult games that really can only appeal to hard core gamers, like DayZ and Dark Souls, where inexperienced players are pretty much doomed. They've added a facility to bridge the experience gap and encourage people with, let's say less confidence in these games - that can only be a good thing.

surg3n:
[
Well first off, I wasn't even halfway serious about that 50 shades comment :) - I was generalising women in the same way that the media does to men and women. The bottom line, is that Borderlands is a game that women can find interesting, that 'girlfriend mode' is intended to appeal to couples playing the game together - they can't call it kid mode, because they can't breach age restrictions etc.

we they arnt even calling it that so as I said before its not that much of a big deal

The blowjob comment was just stupid, and probably detracted from the intended humour that is a key part of Borderlands appeal, at least IMO.
I think there's something that other developers can learn from Borderlands, it's a complex FPS game that can appeal to people who probably wouldn't play a FPS usually, they are trying to highlight that. Hell, it makes a change from the current trend of super-difficult games that really can only appeal to hard core gamers, like DayZ and Dark Souls, where inexperienced players are pretty much doomed. They've added a facility to bridge the experience gap and encourage people with, let's say less confidence in these games - that can only be a good thing.

trend? on the contrary...the trend seems to favor "hand holding" and treating the player like a retard..Ive only been gaming seriously for a year or two but even I can tell and get annoyed sometimes

games thease days tend to lack depth

Moonlight Butterfly:

Only student cookbooks aren't aimed at a single gender....I'm pretty sure there are guys who are a bit pants at games too.

Obviously there are but that is precisely the point, it was an off the cuff remark using a stereotype that guys who play games want a girlfriend that does too. There are guys who are crap at video games and there are women who are awesome at video games.
It wasn't some blatant attack on the gender as a whole and shouldn't be treated as such, I like to think people can think for themselves to realise when their status as a gender is being insulted and when it was just a simple remark.

Lyri:
I like to think people can think for themselves to realise when their status as a gender is being insulted and when it was just a simple remark.

its amazing how many people, in fact, cant distinguish the two.

I'm really starting to get sick of women getting annoyed over every single little thing they perceive as sexist or stereotypical in this industry. When was the last time someone called out the overweight male slob in a darkened room stereotype as sexist or stereotypical? Because I don't see that happening anywhere. On that note I should point out that were you find the man's comment offensive, I see it as a victory, an acknowledgment that man video gamers might actually (gasp) have girlfriends!

In some cases they have a point, like their representations in video games leaves much to be desired but in this case and others like it, they're going a bit too far and they're going to start making themselves look whiny and devalue their actual points if they keep this crap up.

First of all, the comment itself was humorous if you ask me and should be treated as such. It looks more like a harmless joke than a serious accusation that girls can't point a virtual gun to save their lives. I happen to be one of those people who believe we should allow offensive jokes otherwise we risk killing humor itself under a blanket of political correctness.

It is also not entirely untrue. Yes I understand that there are a lot of girls who play FPS games these days and more by the day but the FPS market is still quite male orientated and the majority of FPS players are still male. Even in my own personal experience I can see there tends to be a skill gap because girls are GENERALLY newer to the FPS scene and GENERALLY don't play quite as much (or so it seems to me). Of course this is all on average, I forbid anyone to go "But I know a girl who's been playing FPS games since Doom and she's really hardcore..." yes I'm sure such girls exist, but they're hardly the norm you must admit.

Of course regardless of whether or not it's true, people will still run around screaming "I am offended!" And we are going to have to start asking ourselves how much value this phrase has left. The world is an incredibly diverse place and people have decided that they have the right to get offended at literally ANYTHING they feel like. These days something said that hits the internet can reach all corners of the world and all of those people with their differing opinions and their own specific list of what offends them. Because of this, there is no getting around the fact you're likely going to offend someone.

I think we should ask ourselves if "I am offended" actually has any weight or whether or not people who scream it should be told to come back when they have thicker hides and a sense of proportion.

Duo Oratar:
I'm really starting to get sick of women getting annoyed over every single little thing they perceive as sexist or stereotypical in this industry. When was the last time someone called out the overweight male slob in a darkened room stereotype as sexist or stereotypical? Because I don't see that happening anywhere. On that note I should point out that were you find the man's comment offensive, I see it as a victory, an acknowledgment that man video gamers might actually (gasp) have girlfriends!

In some cases they have a point, like their representations in video games leaves much to be desired but in this case and others like it, they're going a bit too far and they're going to start making themselves look whiny and devalue their actual points if they keep this crap up.

First of all, the comment itself was humorous if you ask me and should be treated as such. It looks more like a harmless joke than a serious accusation that girls can't point a virtual gun to save their lives. I happen to be one of those people who believe we should allow offensive jokes otherwise we risk killing humor itself under a blanket of political correctness.

It is also not entirely untrue. Yes I understand that there are a lot of girls who play FPS games these days and more by the day but the FPS market is still quite male orientated and the majority of FPS players are still male. Even in my own personal experience I can see there tends to be a skill gap because girls are GENERALLY newer to the FPS scene and GENERALLY don't play quite as much (or so it seems to me). Of course this is all on average, I forbid anyone to go "But I know a girl who's been playing FPS games since Doom and she's really hardcore..." yes I'm sure such girls exist, but they're hardly the norm you must admit.

Of course regardless of whether or not it's true, people will still run around screaming "I am offended!" And we are going to have to start asking ourselves how much value this phrase has left. The world is an incredibly diverse place and people have decided that they have the right to get offended at literally ANYTHING they feel like. These days something said that hits the internet can reach all corners of the world and all of those people with their differing opinions and their own specific list of what offends them. Because of this, there is no getting around the fact you're likely going to offend someone.

I think we should ask ourselves if "I am offended" actually has any weight or whether or not people who scream it should be told to come back when they have thicker hides and a sense of proportion.

I wasn't so much offended, as much as it was like an eye roll moment. When the mode was described to me, I thought, "New Gamer Mode" or "Non Shooter Mode", girlfriend just falls into stereotypes, which are annoying. If there was a, say a mode in a game that mad e all the NPC's not talk, kill the story, and add more blood and gunfights, then called it aboyfriend mode, I would say that was a "Non Story mode" and be kinda irritated that men were generalized that way.

Xin Baixiang:
My wife thought "Girlfriend mode" was a cute name for a nice idea. But then, this is the woman who demands I play FPS and Action/Adventure games for her. She doesn't play, but she loves to watch me play. Honestly, aren't there better things to spend your time/energy/bandwidth being offended about?

You'd think the obvious answer would be 'yes', but considering this entire 'debacle' doesn't even break into my 'Top 50 biggest Internet Shitstorms of all time' list... yeah.

Wasn't this whole thing resolved anyway? Like, guy got told off on Twitter, Gearbox (and the very same interview) told everyone that it's just called 'BFF: Best Friends Forever' and he apologized? Aren't we all just discussing something that isn't actually a thing anymore?

Moonlight Butterfly:

I play tons of shooters. According to my Raptr it's my most played Genre...
There you go! You have met one, happy now?

Not until you let me invite you to a cup of coffee.

KrystelCandy:
He then proceeds to use a personal anecdote that no girls he knows plays shooters.

Look, I'm almost certain that if we made a poll on the gender of people who regularly play shooters, it would be around 90% male, 10% female. I think you would agree if you found the time to search your kind, womanly heart.

With numbers like these, I think it's a safe assumption to say that generally, the average guy will be a better player than the average girl, if you just picked them from the street and asked them to play. Therefore, I see only truths in my claim that on average, guys will be the better shooter players.

And that thing about men having a better spatial sense than women, I once read a study on that topic, but I'm to lazy to look it up now.

Why this turns into a controversy is that today's society is so delicate and sensitive that people just seem to make a hobby of being offended.

Person uses colloquial phrase to give everyone an instant understanding of what exactly said person is referencing and some people's panties get in a bunch. For said phrase to be an insult, he would have to have added context to the quote. Example:

"For players who have that friend who is bad at games that they want to play with, we have a skill tree that unlocks 'girlfriend mode'. What is that mode? It makes their aim more true so they are less terrible at playing game".

In that context it's an insult worthy of being pissed about, under the context it was used? Not an insult at all.

Kargathia:
While you certainly have some very valid criticism, I'd like to point out that you seem to be thinking about changing public behaviour, while the article offers a strategy for changing private opinion.

As he also mentions would merely changing public behaviour by throwing a tantrum every time they act like a sexist douche possibly change their wording when giving interviews, but not their related actions (ie. inherent discrimination).

We don't really need developers to stop making sexist comments in interviews, we want them to change their thinking, and not develop games involving sexist stereotypes.

This person gets what I was trying to say. :)

seditary:
There is one thing in all this I am absolutely sure of.

No one is going to listen to 100+ people yelling at them.

This person gets it.

Narcogen:
Wow. I can't decide what's more depressing-- the idea that Escapist is now pandering to the portions of its audience that want to defend Hemingway's remark, or the idea that the author believes it is defensible.

(next post)

I'm depressed that he holds the opinion that the real problem is the reaction to Hemingway's use of the term, instead of his use of the term itself, because that strikes me as pandering to the baser instincts of the site's audience, something I believe the site has studiously avoided in the past. I'm depressed that in this exchange, he thinks the problem is essentially an overreaction-- that being offended is a a bigger problem than blatantly sexist terminology.

The interest of the gaming press in defending Hemingway is clear: nobody wants studios to tell developers to stop talking to the press because they're afraid of causing a problem like this, so the severity of the problem is being downplayed. I'm depressed the Escapist would be party to that, because that's not the sense of the site's editorial vision I have developed over years of reading it.

This person does not.

If you read my column this week and thought that either myself or The Escapist were in any way defending Hemingway's comments you really need to go back and read the column again. I didn't think the larger point was so subtle as to not be obvious, but it's this:

If you just yell at someone for doing something wrong, they are more likely to tell you to go fuck yourself than listen to why what they did was wrong, and if they don't understand why it was wrong, they're going to do it over and over again.

And in the specific case of the videogame development community, if most devs ARE white and male, they can AFFORD to forget about this sort of thing if they have the option to just avoid the press. Avoiding that result is how this problem ultimately gets resolved. We need converts from within game development itself, or we have to wait decades until enough women get into game development and even out the balances, to actually see something done about the casual sexism.

That means engaging with developers on this subject whenever we can. Yelling at or about them does not constitute engagement.

Some recurring thoughts within the comments I'd like to respond to:

Lots of people:
"But men and women really ARE different, and women aren't very good at shooters!"

This sort of statement requires proof to deserve entrance into the discussion. Your experience is not proof. Your friend's experience is not proof. Hell, the idea of "proof" even becomes difficult inasmuch as the explanation for such a phenomena, WERE it proven true, might wander into the soft sciences.

I have heard a developmental psychologist from Emmanuel College here in Boston argue at a Harvard lecture on evolutionary psychology and video game choices among gender that women are better at shooting still targets in the real world than men, and that men are better at hitting moving targets in the real world than women.

That is to the best of my knowledge the only kind of science we might bring into this debate and it's pretty soft science, i.e. not definitive, i.e. even though we could bring this into the debate, it doesn't really prove anything in and of itself.

So if you try to argue this point in a discussion about casual sexism, you're derailing, which is to say you're trying to knock the discussion off point and aren't adding anything.

You also cannot discount the effects of decades' worth of women being excluded from videogame culture and participation and how those decades could have led to the development by large numbers of women of the same intuition and skills in shooters that men exhibit in droves.

That's like saying you would ignore the fact that a bunch of people who had no math training did worse on a math test than people who had been taking math classes for twenty years. That would be a stupendously stupid argument.

Lots of people:
"This is all about political correctness. People just need to have a sense of humor."

Here's the thing: if someone takes offense, it's not your place to decide whether or not they should have. In fact, the idea of dismissing someone's offense without examining it at all is kind of a dick move.

Your place is to decide whether or not to respect that they're offended. Your choice is whether or not you try to understand it.

Imagine yourself as a woman gamer. There is an understanding that your choices as to what kind of games you play is determined in large part by your gender. That wouldn't piss you off?

I'm Italian. I had a boss once tell me towards the end of a stressful day that I should go home and relax by "Eating some spaghetti and meatballs." I was taken aback by that. Just because I'm Italian, I naturally find eating spaghetti and meatballs relaxing? That was a pretty fucking stupid thing to say, and a little offensive.

It's not anyone else's place to tell me whether or not I ought to have been offended by that. And if someone were to tell me that I shouldn't have been offended, I'd probably mark them as either not thinking about the situation for even half a second, being completely ignorant about the nature of prejudice, or if they thought about it and I knew they understood but chose to blow off my reaction I'd probably imagine that if I bothered to get to know them better I might learn they're a dickhead...but I probably wouldn't bother to get to know them any better because I'm not so hard up for friends that I need to deal with that kind of bullshit. :)

Political correctness is one of the laziest ways to dismiss someone's taking offense. If you trot this out you're basically suggesting that people should be able to say whatever they want without suffering any consequences for their actions. People who make this argument would never accept that state of affairs if someone said something offensive to them, or they've never suffered any kind of prejudicial remark. We call that last state affairs "privilege."

When I first heard of 'girlfriend mode' I seriously took it as a joke as should others. It's not even an issue of PC or anything like that. Sexism sucks and I know it's in our videogames but i'm sick and tired of seeing all these new age feminists scream and shout at the top of their lungs when honestly the issue has been around for years and only just now are they coming out of the woodwork.

And honestly how many of them are really fighting for the cause and not just because it's the thing to do right now? From the white knights to twitter warriors, what are these people really doing? Making themselves look like asses screaming and hollering like a child, that's what.

AngelBlackChaos:

Duo Oratar:
I'm really starting to get sick of women getting annoyed over every single little thing they perceive as sexist or stereotypical in this industry. When was the last time someone called out the overweight male slob in a darkened room stereotype as sexist or stereotypical? Because I don't see that happening anywhere. On that note I should point out that were you find the man's comment offensive, I see it as a victory, an acknowledgment that man video gamers might actually (gasp) have girlfriends!

In some cases they have a point, like their representations in video games leaves much to be desired but in this case and others like it, they're going a bit too far and they're going to start making themselves look whiny and devalue their actual points if they keep this crap up.

First of all, the comment itself was humorous if you ask me and should be treated as such. It looks more like a harmless joke than a serious accusation that girls can't point a virtual gun to save their lives. I happen to be one of those people who believe we should allow offensive jokes otherwise we risk killing humor itself under a blanket of political correctness.

It is also not entirely untrue. Yes I understand that there are a lot of girls who play FPS games these days and more by the day but the FPS market is still quite male orientated and the majority of FPS players are still male. Even in my own personal experience I can see there tends to be a skill gap because girls are GENERALLY newer to the FPS scene and GENERALLY don't play quite as much (or so it seems to me). Of course this is all on average, I forbid anyone to go "But I know a girl who's been playing FPS games since Doom and she's really hardcore..." yes I'm sure such girls exist, but they're hardly the norm you must admit.

Of course regardless of whether or not it's true, people will still run around screaming "I am offended!" And we are going to have to start asking ourselves how much value this phrase has left. The world is an incredibly diverse place and people have decided that they have the right to get offended at literally ANYTHING they feel like. These days something said that hits the internet can reach all corners of the world and all of those people with their differing opinions and their own specific list of what offends them. Because of this, there is no getting around the fact you're likely going to offend someone.

I think we should ask ourselves if "I am offended" actually has any weight or whether or not people who scream it should be told to come back when they have thicker hides and a sense of proportion.

I wasn't so much offended, as much as it was like an eye roll moment. When the mode was described to me, I thought, "New Gamer Mode" or "Non Shooter Mode", girlfriend just falls into stereotypes, which are annoying. If there was a, say a mode in a game that mad e all the NPC's not talk, kill the story, and add more blood and gunfights, then called it aboyfriend mode, I would say that was a "Non Story mode" and be kinda irritated that men were generalized that way.

Then I'm glad you're even handed and sensible about your eye rolling. I'm sorry for making the generalization that all women got annoyed, that was a mistake on my part, I was specifically referring to the one's that did get annoyed.

*cough*

So... I kinda lost interest in following the arguments since I think that they (like many arguments on the Escapist) kinda lost sight of what they were supposed to be arguing about a page in.

I'm kinda surprised that 'Girlfriend Mode' is taken so offensively as it is. It's about as offensive as the whole 'Jew penny-pincher' or 'dumb blonde' stereotypes that people sometimes joke about. Our pop culture, sadly enough, has evolved joking about these stereotypes, sometimes harmfully, and sometimes playfully, and I don't think we'll ever truly be able to get over them.

Does he think that all girls are inherently bad at video games? I hope not, since he's basically shooting himself and a bit of their profit margin in the foot by deliberating insulting part of their target demographic. However, from what I read... it doesn't really come off like that. He's kinda just joking around with the age-old stereotype, and people aren't being mature enough to take it as such and laugh along with it.

Now, Jaffe's blowjob comment was in extremely poor taste, and whether he meant it as a joke or not, he went too far into it to give off that kind of impression. As an Asian, if I'm talking to my friends and one of them jokes about how my English kinda sucks (because I can't pronounce the "th" sound very well) on the fact that I'm Asian, I'm not gonna get offended, because he's obviously joking. I've thrown around the dumb blonde, gamer girl, etc. stereotypes many times, and no one's really gotten offended as long as the context behind the word had no ill intent.

Basically, I think of it like this: If I can walk down the street and see blacks referring to each other as "nigga" with laughs and no one else is offended by it, and if I can play a video game and see people casually throwing how they're going to "rape" people online, then I don't exactly see the problem with this guy using the term "girlfriend mode," especially as a one-off, blink-and-you'll-miss-it joke.

Tiamat666:

Moonlight Butterfly:

I play tons of shooters. According to my Raptr it's my most played Genre...
There you go! You have met one, happy now?

Not until you let me invite you to a cup of coffee.

KrystelCandy:
He then proceeds to use a personal anecdote that no girls he knows plays shooters.

Look, I'm almost certain that if we made a poll on the gender of people who regularly play shooters, it would be around 90% male, 10% female. I think you would agree if you found the time to search your kind, womanly heart.

With numbers like these, I think it's a safe assumption to say that generally, the average guy will be a better player than the average girl, if you just picked them from the street and asked them to play. Therefore, I see only truths in my claim that on average, guys will be the better shooter players.

And that thing about men having a better spatial sense than women, I once read a study on that topic, but I'm to lazy to look it up now.

Why this turns into a controversy is that today's society is so delicate and sensitive that people just seem to make a hobby of being offended.

*points up. Many things wrong.

Personally, I'm going to reiterate, the girlfriend mode didn't really bother me except as an eyeroll comment. The people DEFENDING the comment as being justified are what bother me, or the people defending those people by saying things like "get a sense of humor!" or in the case of Num "he doesn't know any better!" Like those are valid reasons.

I'm not on the hate bandwagon for the guy making the comment, but I'm pretty shocked at the number of people DEFENDING the comment.

Dennis Scimeca:

You also cannot discount the effects of decades' worth of women being excluded from videogame culture and participation and how those decades could have led to the development by large numbers of women of the same intuition and skills in shooters that men exhibit in droves.

That's like saying you would ignore the fact that a bunch of people who had no math training did worse on a math test than people who had been taking math classes for twenty years. That would be a stupendously stupid argument.

Well yeah of course, but some women HAVE been in the culture a long, long time, and the "skilled female gender" at these kind of twitchy games seems to be growing.

I mean, guys treating it as a boys club like, 10 years ago, when I was playing counter strike, fine, I get it, I was the only woman on the server headshotting people, but times have gone on, it shouldn't STILL be an issue now. My guild in Vindictus has almost as many women as men playing, nobody raises an eyebrow at any of it, and we all talk over voice chat as well. Vindictus is an action MMO based on reflexes and timing and twitchyness, so yes, girls play these games, lots of us, and regardless of skill, were still there.

Dennis Scimeca:

It's not anyone else's place to tell me whether or not I ought to have been offended by that. And if someone were to tell me that I shouldn't have been offended, I'd probably mark them as either not thinking about the situation for even half a second, being completely ignorant about the nature of prejudice, or if they thought about it and I knew they understood but chose to blow off my reaction I'd probably imagine that if I bothered to get to know them better I might learn they're a dickhead...but I probably wouldn't bother to get to know them any better because I'm not so hard up for friends that I need to deal with that kind of bullshit. :)

Yup! I agreeeeee.

Although I think 100 people yelling at the developer for saying it is totally fine, even if I didn't join in, because some people just don't learn until you yell at them and beat on them and force them to change.

Ha... personal experience with that one!

Well personally I can't seem to understand a damn thing on what everyone is talking about, it could be that im too stupid and simple minded or everyone lost sight on what their supposed to be arguing as stated before.

But I think I remember Bob chipman talking something about this when his not busy fighting the evil hordes of CoD,it has something to do with the nintendo smart help system or whatever it was called but, the point is that the whole point is this.

Lets say that im playing SMNC (Super monday night combat) and I know that I have to focus on the bots first since these types of game are more about leveling than getting kills, but lets say someone like your girlfriend who may knows who knows how to play a shooter and can like score 14 headshot in a row or something play this games and fails to realise the important of leveling and bot killing? what if she keeps trying to fight overleved enemies and keep giving kills to them?

Feel free to correct me if everything I said is BS and wrong.

I can't believe that people have missed the obvious other side of this. This could also be "boyfriend mode". You're all assuming that women don't play games and are massively inferior gamers. That's ridiculous.

There are plenty of women who enjoy gaming and some of them are dating men who don't game. I honestly think the whole problem with this is the developers calling it "girlfriend mode" which is insulting and demeaning to women, the actual tree, doesn't really matter.

Multiple studies[1] [2] that have been conducted on the subject have returned similar results. Men do enjoy an innate advantage over women in terms of spatial awareness, but that a great deal of the difference between the sexes can be eliminated by as little as ten hours of play.

In short Hemingway deserves to be crucified.

Thinking of methods of gameplay that might inadvertently let more women slip through that initial learning curve! Methods that might result in unacceptable levels of fun! Why if methods like that catch on a decent man of leisure won't be able to take two steps in an FPS without getting themselves all knee deep in vagina!

Outrageous! Simply outrageous! Up to the knee, and simply outrageous!

That's right feminists, you keep it up and make sure he never does anything like it ever again!

I don't really get the animosity. The majority of people who play Borderlands are heterosexual men. It's not an off-base assumption that they might have significant others and wanting to include such an audience into the experience is more laudable than damnable. Maybe only a little bit, but still. It's an incorrect assumption to assume all players of Borderlands are male, but it's not an incorrect assumption that most of them are. Hell, I'm sure there are women with boyfriends who aren't into games that much, and likewise, this would be considered a "boyfriend" mode. (Come to think of it, I know of an exact situation where that will probably be the case.)

I just feel like that reporters are sitting on the sidelines for a non-company spokesperson to misspeak and jump all over it to create controversy. The guy programs video games for a living. He's not PR. And the more we give these people shit for what they say, the less access we'll have and the more bland the video game entertainment news environment will become. But hey, "I heard some guy said some stuff that could be construed as sexist! Let's not buy their game (which was also developed by hundreds of nonsexist people) because of it!"

To say that this subject was blown completely out of proportion would say lightly of what happened.

The real name of the skill tree is Best Friend Forever, which doesn't imply misogyny.
The character that gives that has the skill is a female avatar. So you have a female avatar helping noobs. Again not misogyny. Than after actually reading the original article I personally came to the conclusion that the guy meant "Girl who is a Friend" instead of "Girl who is a lover."

But yeah, completely overblown.

chozo_hybrid:

Golem239:
I thought "girlfriend mode" was what the developers called and it's really just called the BFF skill tree

I think that may be what a majority of readers readers read it as and just went nuts about it. But making the statement wasn't helping anyone to begin with.

Should have called it noob mode.

in my personal opinion it has kinda been taken too far I mean how does dead island developers get away with jokingly leave in feminist whore power in the accidental debug release yet we get up in arms about a developer referring it as girlfriend mode
CAPATCHA: crime of passion...it's not really passionate

Really, the punishment should fit the crime here. Stuff like Jaffe said or Eidos said about how the attempted rape in Tomb Raider was just aggravated groping or some such ridiculousness, or how some developers simply will not hire women deserves a bit of an angry response to it.

This is quite a bit less offensive in my opinion. Still offensive, but not on the level of the previous examples. In this case, I agree with the article. Give the guy the Tommy Lee Jones implied facepalm stare and say "Really? You really want to phrase it that way?"

I really doubt he meant to be sexist, and I can see his logic. A majority of people that play this game are going to be male, and some of those guys have girlfriends, and most girls tend to not gravitate toward FPS games.

However, two friends of my that are girls, and ARE FPS fans, were a bit ticked off about the statement. Not "internet rage" angry, just little. One of them said they'd love to play the guy Call of Duty and kick his ass up and down the map, but otherwise it just got a sigh and a shake of the head.

The comment could be taken that all girls suck at FPS's. I don't think he meant it that way, but the way how something is said is taken is in the eye of the beholder. Developers and others need to start realizing the market has changed, and that more women are taking an interest in gaming as a whole, and not just the Sims.

The industry, especially Triple-A developers, needs more people into games in order to survive. Having gaming, specifically "hardcore" gaming, seem like a boys-only club and girls have cooties and should go back and play Farmville is only shooting themselves in the foot in the long run.

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