The Flak over Fl4k and what it cost

Genuinely wanted to keep out of this thread, but I did want to throw in one clarification.

No, GBX is not some authoritarian Pinko-Stasi. The reason I know that is I wouldn’t be here if that were the case, they would’ve never invited me to help moderate.

I never talk politics online, because I do not think there is anything as dull as prattling on about some topic that we all know we’ll never change our minds on. I am really not going to get in to my views in detail, because I don’t care to share them and you genuinely don’t care to hear them.

I own a μολὼν λαβέ hat, and my politics are nearly completely in line with Christopher Hitchens (with maybe a sprinkle of Sam Harris), and if these are Conservative voices in 2019, I think old Hitch would be rolling in his grave if he hadn’t donated his body to science.

Really guys, this is the hill you’re choosing to die on? You’re this outraged that a videogame company is made a gender neutral robot and is expressing their belief on the matter on their forum?

I am very much a First Amendment kind of guy, and isn’t GBX practicing their right? They own a forum which they define the rules of discourse, they believe that misgendering some one is an active insult. While I do understand that many of you don’t believe that point of view, the moderators have defended every group.

Every group.

I personally shut down a thread that mocked Christians, we have removed comments that asked people their ethnicity as if it would invalidate their opinion if they said ‘white’, because you are not allowed to attack people on here. We didn’t receive complaints for that, the original posters even understood.

I am completely fine with a Thunderdome style debate, but my skin is thick enough to roll over coals.

The internet is full of shouting halls that masquerade as forums. GBX wants this place to be different and I think that is completely reasonable of them, and I understand why you may not.

They have to create a boundary as to what is considered to be an insult, and they most certainly should be the adjudicators of that term.

While I may not agree with what you say, I am defending your right to say it.

I have Trans people people come to my shop continually, and I refer to them as he/her/they by their preference of pronoun. Why? Because it makes them smile, because it makes them comfortable, and many places around me don’t offer them that comfort.

Come on lads, you’re better than this. At least I would like to believe it. This isn’t you, this is the creation of some ‘other’ that is a minority within a minority to demonize. Instead of debating, just sit down and chat to a lot of the LGBT members of this community and you’ll realize you have very little that differentiate you.

Then we can talk about something actually valuable, like how you’re all novices for using anyone other than Amara because she’s clearly the best character of any gender identity.


This man speaks the truth.

Albeit I believe Amara and Zane to be a 50/50 split.


60/40 but yes. I’ve got a note at the bookies that it turns out Zane is Big Boss’s 209th clone, and the Kojima Empire is expanding.

Quote me on this. One eyed specialist with a cloudy past? Yeah I know where this is going.


I’m siding with Giu on this.

Amara is the mage and the mage always wins.


Why not just say best character play referring to Amass. Why does three term gender identity have to be thrown in every statement as if to brain wash people into accepting it. It should have no place in our entertainment. And the issue is banning people for not using proper pronouns when referring to fk4k how ridiculous is that. We can’t just be happy the game is coming out.

I’ll refer you to a quote by one of my fellow mods.


You know who can’t smile? Flak. Because Flak’s not real and literally cannot care what you use to talk about them. Also because flak’s got no mouth. Yes, misgendering is an insult… to actual God Damn people, not piles of polygons. Or is insulting fictional characters in general against the rules now?


Underhill, going further under barrow?


I’d say 10/10 high horse routine, for these mental gymnastics.

Except you’ll never stick the landing.


GD wasn’t “gender dysmorphic”?

Well God Damn.


Who hurt you? Are you ok? Need a hug?


Honestly I’m just hoping that the people who see this as the be all end all organize a boycott. ■■■■. I’ll support it.

I mean, obviously I’m still buying the game.

It just feels like I’m going to have a much better playing experience if they’re successful.

I mean… oh no… you’re really sticking it to libtards, don’t buy it >.>


I gotcha, mate. I see what you’re getting at, but that just isn’t the case. I know you don’t need to believe me, but I hope you do.

No one has been banned (I’d definitely know if they had been), they’re just trying to add a gender neutral character because that is what they want, and that is their right. They’re also trying to create a standard of dialogue where users can’t insult each other using what they believe to be an insult.

No law has been passed. No commonlaw decision or statute. Just a discourse agreement. Not something worth fretting over, genuinely.


Listen, I believe in your right to that point of view, I just don’t understand why you’d feel so strongly on it. I am not trying to change your mind, but it may be something like this;

In much the same way that if we were to use insulting terms for a fictional character of a certain ethnicity or religious belief, and the members or adherents to those community would see that as a slight on them, people may see it as a way to belittle them by proxy.

Is that the case? Maybe. Am I concerned either way? Nah. If I had a problem with it I’d leave the forum, I definitely wouldn’t be complaining about it. I’ll worry when they write speech restrictions in to law. Again, I am a First guy and I do believe in a privately company’s right to express it.

If you think differently, that’s cool, but come on man, just talk to these nice people. You’ll genuinely realize you guys have a lot in common, it really doesn’t have to be like that.


Ah yes, the mental gymnastics of… separating fiction from reality and realizing fictional characters aren’t people and don’t have the same rights.

Okay then, I’ll bite:

Stop treading on Gearbox’s copyright.

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As a P.S. to you, I am not trying to demonize you. My inbox is always open if you want a chat, I don’t think you’re a bad guy I just have a belief that you may be wrong on this.

But that is just my point of view, and I respect yours. Let’s just meet on some common ground.


I mean, I ain’t boycotting ■■■■, personally. I’m still buying the game. And I’ve never uttered the word “libtard” until just now when I quoted you. I take no issue with flak being non-binary, I just take issue with trying to control how people refer to flak when it quite literally does not matter what people call flak.

It is for the people who identify with FL4K as being non-binary, not as a robot, nor for FL4K itself, per se.

C’mon, man.

Surely you see this?

I mean, I myself identify as a 100% heterosexual male.

Because I am.

I am totes cool with FL4K being itself.

Why not let others get some rep too?


What does it cost us?

I believe that the answer to this question is simple: We should be focused on character builds and excitement over Borderlands 3. Instead we are focused on gender politics, who might be offended, walking on egg shells, and solving this problem on the Borderlands 3 forum. Wouldn’t it be better if we could just be a community that was all excited about a game where none of us knew or cared about each other’s political leanings?

Why does Borderlands 3 need to insert itself into gender politics??? The cost of this is massive and divisive to the community.

Good question. Here’s what Anthony Burch (lead writer for Borderlands 2) had to say on the subject:

And I’ll pick a gender neutral example from that for why representation in video games matters: Karima (mayor of Overlook in BL2). I recognize there will be many different opinions on that article - which is very much Anthony Burch’s opinion piece as he makes clear from the outset. But it’s a useful reference point for thoughtful discussion.


I mean, I got a bunch of theorycrafting threads in Amara section if you’re interested.

I’m really psyched about MA + Foe, but I think the biggest damage output is going to include the melee tree just because Jab Cross is stupid good. They nerfed it in the most recent build, but having that much added gun damage at the cost of “punch a guy every 20 seconds” doesn’t seem like a big deal.

My point is all this… points at the above thread … doesn’t take away from any content listed.

Plus it’s absolutely ignorable if you don’t intend on intentionally misgendering someone (fictional or not) repeatedly.