FL4K's choice of pronouns

(Catch-A-Raditz!) #1

I’m very curious and a little trepidatious about the type of humor Gearbox will be implementing with FL4K. It’s characterized as an “emergent AI”. From the little they’ve released so far about FL4K, the pronoun of choice has always been “they”, not “him” or “her”. I’m wondering if Gearbox is trying to implement the story of someone searching for their identity, not knowing where they fit in in society. This could be applied to LGBTQ people in the progressive world. I’m somewhat apprehensive about how the broader playerbase might react to this if it winds up being the case.
There were quite a few players who reacted quite negatively to Tiny Tina. This could be even worse.

NOTE: Please don’t make this into a hyper political argument. Please be civil. Regardless of your stance, I’m just curious if you think this is the direction Gearbox is taking considering so many games and movies these days are trying to insert themselves into the political sphere.

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([In Memories Delusional]) #2

I don’t mind whichever pronounce Fl4k will have, but I prefer for things not to go further than that. LGBT characters rarely are written well, and even in the case of Dragon Age’s Krem it took several rewrites before he was done well.

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(sammantix) #3

I’m so freaking stoked we have a non-binary main character playable in a game. Having gendered robots in the previous installments states this is a distinct choice.

I do not believe there will be a search for identity in the way I assume you meant.

ABur did say Maya was Ace (asexual), so, this is exactly what I hoped and expected.

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(Catch-A-Raditz!) #4

I don’t necessarily think it has to do with them being written “well”, I think it’s that everyone is kind of on edge about them being in there in the first place. Certain people have issues with LGBT ideas in games, some people desperately want those characters, and others are just really skiddish about how those characters will be received by the more extreme or passionate crowds. Many people become harsh critics now matter if the writing was done well or not. It’s a very interesting thing to watch.

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([In Memories Delusional]) #5

No, often their only character trait is being trans/bi/etc. Janey Springs is a good example of this, where all she does is reminding the player that she is a lesbian.
Again, I don’t mind LGBT characters in gaming, one of my all time favorite characters even falls under the umbrella. And with her things are (heavily) implied, not thrown in your face.

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(sammantix) #6

In case you’re not familiar, the word is skittish :)!

But like, the choice to NOT include Queer characters and people IS a political decision. It’s the decision to omit people who exist from a fantasy universe that has far more ludicrous things than LGBT people. Not putting in gay people is a decision to say you don’t think gay people should exist.

And that’s what people miss. They think that keeping something out isn’t making it political, but putting it in is. Which isn’t how it works.

Just pointing those things out <3

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(sammantix) #7

Janey was hitting on Athena. That’s how many lesbians flirt. “Oh, I’m not into men” until you go “oh, you mean you might be into me”. A solid look at twitter can tell ya that :wink:

([In Memories Delusional]) #8

Meanwhile, in 2 we had Sir Hammerlock who didn’t rubbed it in, and Axton/Maya through word of god about their orientation.

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(Catch-A-Raditz!) #9

I have to heavily disagree with you on your point about not including them being a political decision.
For your reference, here is an article from 2017 citing that the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBT is 4%. That is an extremely small number.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/just-how-many-lgbt-americans-are-there

If there are 20 characters in a game, that would mean there is a very small chance that < 1 of those individuals is LGBT. There is a much higher chance that one of the games’ characters would be a religious extremist rather than LGBT (which actually quite a few games, including BL3 have religious extremists). But do all games have extremists of the religious variety? No. Why? Because they represent a small portion of the population. If every developer always puts an LGBT person into their game that would be completely unrealistic.

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(Where's lucky?) #10

That can be misleading, many more are but do not or have not identified as such do to social pressures.

There were polls done on religious beliefs and when asked if you are an atheist and results are tiny, but when asked if you believe in religion, which is the same thing, the results are much higher.

In reality we are all neither totally strait or totally gay, everyone is on a spectrum of sexuality, its just where you are on that spectrum is where you identify.

Why I personally believe its important to represent people from so many different ranges of sexuality, is because representation helps people be more comfortable with who they are. I was born in the 80’s and back then there was little to no representation of the LGBTQ community, and it was very hard for people to come out. When they did they were often marginalized, made fun of, often bullied and beaten. Thus a high suicide rate among those communities.

But as culture showed more representation, and more people came out, more people knew people in the LGBTQ community and when you put a face on it that you know its easier to accept. Its not longer an unknown foreign thing to fear but its your aunt, or nephew, brother or sister.

While here in the states the gay community as made huge strides the trans community seems to have largely been left behind and some reports show up to 50% of trans individuals have attempted suicide in their lives.

I truly believe representation is a very important and even under rated thing in communities, even if they get over represented, I see no harm in that but I see a huge benefit in it.

Gearbox representing the LGBTQ community is a major reason I am proud to be a fan of their games.

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(Operative1454) #11

It shouldn’t get to that point. Over-representation should not be strived for, because it’s why someone like you, whether you’re anywhere on the spectrum, would like it, but a majority of others would not. Pushing your agenda on others is wrong, even if your mindset is well-intentioned, that’s what it is doing.

You talk about representation being a good thing, it’s a good thing for those who differ on the spectrum of sexual orientation, but the reality is that people don’t play the games to be reminded of reality. What you’re talking about in fear and people only needing to understand these people, you don’t need a video game to do that. Especially one that has already made very clear that there are people of different sexual orientation. From B1, to B2, to BtPS there has been a lot, and I mean A LOT, of representation on this subject. Does it really need anymore at this point? Even with the representation, not much has been accomplished, because people don’t play these games for these meanings. Reason being, everyone has their own core values, views, and beliefs. It’s not so much fear of the LGBT community, it’s that no one cares for how they see things or want to conform to their views. Yes, we are all different, but exaggerating this difference does not lead to acceptance. Putting it in media meant to be enjoyed and entertain EVERYONE only serves to further alienate people.

It goes to show, and this goes for everything else, not just sexual orientation, people tolerate one another. We may work with people of different views and values, but that doesn’t automatically mean we just accept and welcome them. Tolerate is the more appropriate word. It makes any representation meaningless when you’re striving to make that agenda known.

This is not a valid reason to implement more LGBT views into media. This is an issue of education and understanding. It’s not that more straight people need to be made “Aware” of others differing on the spectrum, it’s also people who really are different learning there is nothing wrong with them. Not sure how you can properly communicate such a thing in a universe as violent as Borderlands. This is an issue of these people accepting themselves, not telling others it’s their responsibility to do that for them. In short, the sooner we just mind our own business on the matter, the better.

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(sammantix) #12

I literally wouldn’t have kept playing without the LGBT rep when I was playing BL2. I don’t even care if that’s dumb. But it was a world I felt was closer to my fantasy of the universe than any other game I’ve ever played. Having a non-binary character as an Enby myself is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

So, yeah, some people do play for that.

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(Spark Seeker) #13

I think it is going to be something like more than one personality, like Legion.
Not something like a person with identity crisis, but multiple indentitys or multiple AI in one body.

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(Operative1454) #14

That’s why you kept playing the game? In that case, are you playing because you’re fan of the series? Or are you just playing because of the representation? Not trying to go at you, but that reason alone is just crazy. You’re telling me you don’t enjoy the loot, the characters, the guns you get to play with. You’re here solely for the rep. In that case, don’t call yourself a fan.

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(sammantix) #15

I mean, I exaggerated a bit. I love all the aspects. It’s got the RPG elements that I liked from Skyrim, but without the boring slowness of the game. It’s got humor. And heart. But the phaselock was that it FEELS LIKE A HOME.

And that’s a very important part of art. A lot of times, it’s less the objective “goodness” of art that draws a person in, but the fact that it feels like a home.

Edit: This is the first game I’ve deeply cared about since middle school. I haven’t pre-ordered a video game with my own money in EVER. And here I am. I’ve talked so many people into trying the game who don’t even care about the representation. My brother loves the game for entirely different reasons, but the fact that it gives us a common ground to meet on is really awesome. I’m not a gamer. But I love this game. And I love BL1 too, which I just started playing. And that’s very much less a representation situation. But Fandom comes in many forms.

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(Operative1454) #16

I hope you’re being honest, cause what you said pissed me off. I know it’s a game and all, but it’s a series I adore. To say you only play the game for an agenda that has nothing to do with it,…would have said you were really missing out.

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(sammantix) #17

I get that. I was mostly just hip firing at “no one plays for this stuff” and decided to point out that in a sense, I do.

But Gaige’s call outs, especially “boop” and “Allen write some dialog here” may have been my biggest ‘I love this game’ moments. That. And the first time I picked up a Thunderball Fists.

Edit : @mrbombasticronca the last game I was excited about was Mechassault two, actually, just to point that out. I spent a lot of time with Skyrim just because I love building a character up, but the combat in it was snoozeville. I played the Deus Ex games…because they were cool? But the entirety of the Borderlands have been inviting af.

(Night gathers....) #18

So, might there be the story of finding one’s place in society. Or not, because the best explanation for the pronoun “they” up to now is @l_gabrielcruz s comparison to Mass Effect’s Legion, who was aware of not being a single personality, but thousands of different programs running on a platform.

So an AI containing multiple identities depending on which routines are running at a given point in time is at least probable.

Considering questions of representation, I recommend the Political Discussion thread on this forum. You’re always welcome there.

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(Cheersploding as I type!) #19

So, Gearbox recognise that LGBTQ folks exist. Because they do, and they play games.

This isn’t an ‘agenda’. It’s just how the world is. Folks are diverse, whether you like it or not. Get used to it.

You don’t get to decide this.

Now, take a breath before I’m forced to break out the cute animal pics.

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(Operative1454) #20

It’s common sense Psych, you can’t say you’re a fan if you don’t enjoy what it is you’re supposed to be a fan of. If you don’t love it for what it truly is, how can you say you’re a fan? That’s just common sense.

I’m well aware of that fact. Though if you hadn’t noticed a majority of characters and their relationships revolve around these folks. Hell, on Pandora and Elpis, they seemed to be the majority. Not saying they don’t exist, but there is a lot more of them than can be reasonably expected.

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