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Girl Gamer: Don’t Patronize Me With Your Video Game’s “Girlfriend Mode”

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You’d think that by 2012 game designers would have stopped insulting our intelligence by giving us female characters with gigantic conical boobs and tiny there’s-no-way-she-has-any-internal-organs waists. You’d think they would have created some virtual woman we can get behind. You’d especially think that since it’s been shown female gamers outnumber male gamers, designers would respect their audience and do everything in their power not to alienate us.

Well, of course you’d be wrong.

In a recent interview with website Eurogamer, John Hemingway, lead game designer of popular first-person shooter Borderlands 2, revealed his studio Gearbox was developing a new female character for B2 with a very … unusual skill tree. What’s a skill tree, the less-nerdy of you ask? At the beginning of role playing video games, players choose from a list of different skills you can develop as your character earns experience points. To give you an example, if you choose the “Sharp Shooter” skill tree, as you earn points you can, in essence, buy skills related to shooting, like expert aim or extra ammo. This new character in Borderlands 2, a yet unnamed “Mechromancer,” will have a skill tree called “Best Friends Forever” that Hemingway referred to in the interview as — wait for it!— “girlfriend mode.” Keep reading »

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