The Flak over Fl4k and what it cost

The words in themselves aren’t.

Unless you are implying that he/she are derogatory. That their definition and creation were the same as that of a racial slur.

Which is what I was saying.

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This thread is quite repetitive, so kindly let me just point you to PsychicHazard’s post right above yours.

Hm. The anime community seems a little freer than this one. From the top of my head I can’t name a trap hero of a mainstream shooter game and I am not sure that he would be accepted by the local free speech champions…

Yes it is. The whole discussion might be much shorter otherwise. But even if non-binary may be harder to understand, that’s no reason to deny them basic politeness.

The point in politeness isn’t to make me feel better. If I stand up on a bus to offer a seat to the proverbial old lady, my situation may be less comfortable, because I have to stand for the rest of the ride, but as you may agree, that’s not the point about it. The point is to show some respect to the other person. Regardless of binary or non-binary, and not “according to race, colour or creed” (to quote Queen).

Excuse me, but the number of people coming in Caps-locking stuff along the lines of: "Fl4k is male and now you can ban me, fascist mods!"says otherwise. Of course not everyone seems to read past the attention-grabbing headline, no offense to you.

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Meanwhile gearbox developer called Fl4k “he” at Xbox gamescom conference. Not even devs follow own rules.


Less than 1% of the Borderlands playerbase uses these forums. I very much doubt this little debacle will destroy anything other than people’s patience.


Ok, I’m at a loose end again, let’s try this.

People have come here misinformed, thinking that others are being or have been banned. Lots and lots and lots of people. See below (and above) for evidence (people who were quoted, don’t worry, not trying to tussle with anyone from upthread… you’re just being used as stock footage).

I appreciate you may be going for something more nuanced here but don’t underestimate how much doubt over the issue there has been.

Even if we discount the many people who do need to be told this is a largely hypothetical issue… it’s hard not to hear generalised comments about getting “banned” for something when that’s really not how the process works here without feeling a bit frustrated, or thinking people may well have the situation a bit awry.

As mods have pointed out, you can get permabanned instantly, but that’s really rare. It usually takes months and months of repeated infractions to get kicked off this site. So to ask Gbx to say turn “disciplinary action might be taken” into the much cruder “y’all be banned!” isn’t a fair way to go about things.


Right. Context is important. Crucial, even.

That’s all we’ve said. That we aren’t banning for unintentional misgendering. If it’s deliberate and persistent then we have to look into it. And yes, that could ultimately result in a ban. But that would be a last resort.

I’m at a loss as to what else to say. This should be obvious from the forum rules.


And I could pull up ones where people have said can be banned and still met with the same repl, your point is?

Yes there are some people coming misinformed but to meet everyone who talks about the fact that you can be ban as misinformed, yeah, no.

It’s a forum the only disciplinary you can do is a ban or suspension.

So yes, you can be banned. Stop trying to sugar coat it.

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We seem to be going in circles again. Let’s not.

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Yes, I… don’t really understand what this means, so never mind.

Trying to combat Sophistry is a chore, is it not.

You cannot win when, as you have noted, they choose to go around in circles, deliberately missing the point.

It is the same as your noting that a clear sky is blue, only for them to reply that you obviously hate them for their freedom to prefer yellow.

They are not confused.

They are dishonest, with intent.

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Again…Let’s not?


Very well.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

I think I’ll be dipping out of here, for a spell.


To add to your point…

To Gearbox i say this…
if you’re going to do 5000 crazy plot twists in the first 9 years of your flagship franchise don’t expect the fan base to instantly believe every word you utter in year 10. Don’t expect the fans to treat as gospel truth what you say about a new character in year 10.

Hell the foundation of the story that started the franchise was a massive plot twist. The “treasure” inside the "Alien Vault"was thought to be and constantly referred to as a “thing” throughout the entire 20+ hours long campaign. It turned out the contents of the Vault were a living being + some magical event that triggered planetary change + some great loot.

So ya,
who the hell knows what or who Fl4k is?

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I think most people are coming from a point of- the reference to NB in FL4Ks case is nothing more than a joke/pun Title/Tag Line because of their name (like given to most of the characters we encounter) They/Them is pushed when referring to FL4K because their identity is UNKNOWN to any of us at this point because you literally can’t tell. But, there IS a true new character in this game that is exactly the topic at hand, that should of been promoted as the actual representative! **When anyone, prior knowledge, has seen any videos or pictures of the new character Lorelei, 9 out of 10 times the safe assumption given no background info and just face value (I.e. going off clues or hints that point someone in a direction of M or F, the voice, the overall appearance etc) Most people say SHE/HER but Lorelei is HE/THEY while presenting more like a Female. Because it’s FTM trans who goes by HE/THEY while still biologically have female parts and hasn’t transitioned over to the other or in the case stay your assigned gender but claim something else whilst still being physically the same. THIS character should be the one being promoted to represent this community and open the pathway to dialogue about the issue and open a way for more actual stories about it to feel real to someone dealing with this issue. A robot / AI no one will ever relate to because ITS NOT HUMAN! Wouldn’t you rather make your point across having character arcs be something you can relate back to in your own life if you seek representation and want to be heard? By championing a Murder Thirsty AI/Robot or whatever FL4K May turn out to be doesn’t that invalidate you’re validation? If you want to be taken seriously upon an issue the Mass Majority are not familiar with and you want to be understood, loved, cared for Why choose the character that proves the point of having no feelings or care for other people? Why not the actual meaningful representation and story that is meant to be heard? We don’t even know FL4Ks story to say what’s gonna happen there we could have a Mal or Loader #1340 situation on our hands. Or a bigger secret is to be revealed with this mysterious character, like zer0!

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So, what you’re saying is:
“I, [your name here], am totally not against referring to someone as non-binary unless they have literally any trait that I see and attribute to either males or females. I mean no disrespect by completely disrespecting this character’s choice and the choices of those that created them.”

If you’re glad to refer to non-binary folks by “they/them” pronouns, why is FL4K an exception?

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My theory is that Fl4k is a living being whose mind is under the remote control of Zontar


who is being paid to deliver the same over-the-top, crazy plot twists the game had in its first 9 years so he is sticking to the script by saying 1 certain specific thing about a character. Then they can lead us in a pre determined direction…
so they can surprise us later.

as has happened 5000 times in the past 9 years.

I have spoken and written a perfectly acceptable way my entire life. Now I’m being told that if I wish to remain a member of this forum I will have to change certain aspects of how I speak here. I wish to remain a member, so I will do so. I understand the perfectly reasonable motivation behind this rule. I’ll come back to this.

I was obviously referring to 1984, nearly everyone who uses that term is. Other themes in that novel revolved around censorship and thought control. In every clip of Fl4k, especially when they speak, my mind associated Fl4k with a male, that is how I see them. Now on these boards I’m being pressured to use a plural pronoun to refer to a character in a video game. I’m not here to troll anyone, I respect anyone’s desire to identify however they wish. However, the fact that in certain situations I have to be especially careful not to use the English language the way I always have feels like censorship.

So, yes, this rule feels slightly Orwellian to me.

interesting little fact about 1984…
the Detroit Tigers started off 1984 with a 35-5 record. The best 40 game start to an MLB regular season in the history of baseball.

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Fl4k is a fictional character in a video game.

And ‘what I’m saying’ is what I said, not what you are trying to attribute to me. I’m curious why you feel the need to attack me. I’m simply and respectfully stating the fact that I feel this rule goes too far. I will adhere to it, but I’m certainly entitled to my opinion that it is an overreach.