The absurdity of tinks

Vault hunter 1: Woah, did you see that midgets head explode when I shot it, that was hilarious!
Vault hunter 2: Dude, not cool, that’s messed up, you can’t call them midgets, that’s super offensive!
Vault hunter 1: Ohh sorry man, say you wanna go murder some more, uhh, tinks?
Vault hunter 2: Sure thing brah, their screams are hilarious when you set them on fire.

… I’m just saying.


From the LPA website:

“The word “midget” is considered by Little People of America to be an antiquated slang term and is most often used in a derogatory manner toward a shorter than average person, or specifically, a person with a diagnosable skeletal dysplasia or medical condition. The word ‘midget’ has been sometimes used to refer to people of short stature, but is now considered to be a slur by the majority of the members of our community.Many feel that the term dehumanizes and objectifies those with dwarfism. LPA has been actively working to get the word taken out of society’s vernacular, where it is often used carelessly and without regard to who else it may affect.”

Seems fair enough to me. I don’t think gearbox ever intend to compound outdated linguistic laziness.


Just call 'em what I do… compact psychos. Kinda like a compact car, just more screechy and more likely to gnaw your face off.


Tinks just sounds odd.

'Lil Psychos would work

First I totally understand if Gearbox changed it to be respectful.

That said I also understand anyone who thinks this is a bit silly considering we’re talking about Borderlands of all games. I’m pretty sure nobody laughs about midgets because their name but rather their amusing high pitched voice and when they blast themselves of their feet after firing their shotgun.

And this will probably sound weird but I never really associated midgets with dwarfism because to me they’re just another type of mutated Psychos like Badass Psychos.

Personally I don’t mind Tinks because they look quite different than just a midget without a mask. They rather remind me of gnomes for which Tink sounds quite fitting.

Props to OP for making this little dialogue rather than coming on here and accusing Gearbox of some PC or SJW agenda.

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It’s ok for Gbx to name their content whatever they want. They have the creative right to do it, since it’s their game. The reason behind it it’s a mere speculation.
But in a broader, more philosophical term, considering recent world building practices in entertainment, i had to say - You can’t be politically correct in games/movies that depicts murder and war, since theoretically politics are the exact opposite of war/violence.

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Not just that, but the setting itself isn’t exactly what any of us would call hospitable or welcoming. In a future of lawlessness and violence, I doubt anyone is really concerned for such terms anymore. If they are, then they might wanna shift their priorities to the more pressing concern of possibly dying. Decency may still exist, but it’s not a trait strongly represented amongst those in the series who’s outlooks differ from one another. Wouldn’t be surprised if those of conflicting views just oped to kill one another. I think it’s already happened quite a few times in the series already. Ex. Dave and Karima, the Hodunks and the Zafords, the corporations and their arms wars. Hell even that hippie woman on Elpis who tried to save the environment by killing the fauna that was part of the environment. Don’t even get me started on the original vault hunters and the raiders. The series was a lot darker in the first game before 2 implemented a more upbeat sense of humor. Anyway, the lesson in the Borderlands, violence solves everything and is the usual outcome to disputes. Really makes you appreciate everything we have now, even if it isn’t perfect.

I’m pointing out why people in fandoms these days are so sensitive over political correctness in entertainment. PC terms are irrelevant when putted in the context of war. As you said, characters will shift their priorities in order to survive. And that’s reasonable. But having politically correct traits in games/movies without making it cohesive to the story will force people to perceive it as propaganda. That’s why many movies and games today gets the backlash.
According to the Tinks, the whole thing is taken a bit out of context,and as i said Gearbox have the creative freedom to name them whatever they want.

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I had said something similar awhile back. You won’t hear any argument from me. I was just adding to what you were saying. It’s reasonable to figure that any concepts we hold dear today may not be so in the future. Outlooks and beliefs do change over time, as do the people that once held them in reverence. It’s reasonable that the Borderlands would no longer share any concepts or views from our time. Of course, there might be references, but they don’t mean much in the grand scheme of it all. Even the most virtuous soul in that universe can be capable of some cruelty or cold-blooded act.

Yes, yes they do, agree with you 100%. That being said, fanservice and consideration of the fans is definitely appreciated, it shows they’re willing to listen and are receptive to feedback. But it’s best done so in moderation, and in consideration of what it could mean for the series as a whole if they decide to implement it. Too much of any extreme or want can be detrimental, it can cause backlash like you said. Calling a midget a midget in this series has in no way been a detriment to those with dwarfism. That was just what they were called, and given the circumstances, it’s not uncalled for. 1.) Because the midgets were usually psychos, and psychos though they are human, don’t really act like human beings…calling them monsters would be more reasonable. 2.) How would anyone refer to them in the quickest term? Like imagine, “LOOK OUT, THAT LITTLE PERSON IS ABOUT TO KILL YOU.” That in itself sounds funny, the situation is still dangerous, but there’s no way anyone with a sense of humor ain’t gonna chuckle. 3.) Doesn’t matter what you call them, they still sound and look ridiculous as hell riding gigantic beasts and firing off weapons twice their size. All in all, the Borderlands proves to be a series doing just fine with how Gearbox is handling it. If it’s genuine and reasonable within the series and it’s characters, then there shouldn’t be an issue. It only becomes an issue when it becomes a forced effort.

It could lend itself to some pretty funny dialogue, having a character forget about the new word and calling them, or beginning to call them by the more familiar term they’re used to saying, then either correcting themself or being admonished by another character


Not to mention sounding like they’ve spent their formative years inhaling helium-rich air… and if they’re not at least cracking a rib taking that kind of recoil, I’d be surprised.


If they weren’t called midgets before, nobody would mind or even mention the word “tink”. It’s easily cohesive with the world.
Sure, BL is a series of games, and they did used to be midgets. But to fair, those were actually different enemies. Tinks are basically completely new, by the looks of it.

It’s not about in game logic, y’all. Enemy names are a game mechanic, if anything. What matters is being able to talk about the game outside of context, without being awful.

Gonna be honest? I don’t feel comfortable talking about Loot Midgets around anyone who doesn’t play because I don’t like the word and I don’t want anyone thinking I do. This is never about in game logic. It’s always about how the game affects things in the real world.


They can change the text but I’ll almost certainly continue to refer to them as midgets. Tink is a bizarre word. An onomatopoeia for a small rock hitting metal. Or short for Tinkerbell. Probably supposed to invoke “tinker” but meh.

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You’re that right.


Sam, we’re talking about a video that uses the term regularly. One that also happens to be very gruesome and violent. Referring to the characters and npcs as they’ve always been referred to isn’t the same as trying to put down someone with dwarfism.

Okay, but you kill these people in gruesome ways. Not just them, but men and even women now. The Psychos aren’t just white anymore, they’re also black and brown. Do I need to even mention what other diversities these enemy npc’s may have amongst their ranks? It’s generally not a good idea to speak of anything you do in this game in public. If you consider yourself a pro, or even somewhat good at this game, you’ve got a lot of virtual blood on your hands. Look at it this way, you don’t feel comfortable using a term appropriate for the game, but you’re fine killing scores upon scores of these people the term is used on. It’s important to make the distinction between what you’re like in-game and outside of it. If someone is offended that you actually referred to the midgets from 1 ,2, or tps of this series, well…that’s just silly. Of course, don’t just say it to someone who doesn’t know what you’re talking about. But to those who play the game, I’d say you’re perfectly fine calling them midgets. That’s what they are.

Gonna pinpoint this down to one point, and one point only:

Gearbox probably doesn’t wanna have to tweet “Midget Hunting Season”. It’s not that hard to not use a word a group has designated a slur.


Call it what you will, tinks, midgets, little people. If there’s a hunting season used to refer to this group of people in any way, that is what it is. No sense in sweating the “small stuff.” :wink:

I’m glad they changed the word. I’m also in the group of people who is really not psyched to say “Loot Midgets”. So back in high school somebody in my class was a little person and she was awesome and I remember one time somebody referred to her with that word and her face just fell and she was really upset, it’s a slur and hearing it obviously made her feel like crap, so yeah I’m not gonna use that word and every time the word shows up in my game it reminds me of an old friend being sad and I hate that.

Like this game isn’t actually murder and war, it’s a game, it’s supposed to be fun and make people happy. Imaginary cartoon violence never hurt anybody, imaginary violence is a fun game thing that makes a lot of people happy, which is great. If it can avoid doing things that make real people feel like crap, I’m all for that.


Every “little person” I’ve met doesn’t really care about what you call them. Their name would be preferable but in the context of a video game it’s a fictional character so its pointless if people get offended by it.

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