John Hemingway, lead designer on Borderlands 2 came out and referred to a feature of the game called “Girlfriend Mode.” Instantly, the Internet did what the Internet does and called Gearbox out on being sexist, etc etc (Not to mention the fact that this is the Internet where “women, get back in the kitchen” jokes are an hourly occurrence).
The problem that has arisen seems to be with the name. Now, for starters, this name “Girlfriend Mode” is an INTERNAL reference. It would never be referred to this in the game, or outside of the studio. (Except, of course in the interview that was conducted with Hemingway). This is the type of thing that happens when a non-PR employee (such as the lead designer of a game) is asked to conduct an interview. Companies have PR personnel for this exact reason.
I, for one, whole heartedly applaud, and somewhat admire Gearbox for what they’ve included in this feature. This feature, is part of a skill tree, I believe, and it makes the game easier for the player by including ricocheting bullets for people who generally do not fare well at FPS games (such as myself – woo!)
Now, in a past relationship of mine, my partner was an avid gamer and this was at a time before I started playing games on a scale that I do now (In fact, it was due to this partner encouraging me to play games that I’ve become the “gamer” I am today), so with him near-constantly playing games, and me being intimidated by them, we would have welcomed a mode such as this! A game mode in which, I (“the girlfriend) would be able to participate and still have fun.
My point is here, that this feature could help bring couples with one gaming partner, and one non-gaming partner closer together. Hell, even to this day, I still generally suck at FPS games, so I cannot wait to play Borderlands 2 and still be able to enjoy the game without perpetually being penalised for my lack of spatial awareness!