News

Pitchford defends Borderlands 2's Tiny Tina, writer considers 'racism' claims
Posted: 04.02.2013 15:34 by Simon Priest Comments: 17
Gearbox Software is, once again, defending something Borderlands 2 related when it comes to the topic of sexism/racism. Points were raised recently that Tiny Tina was a jumble of "stereotyped ebonics".

Studio boss Randy Pitchford said "Tina is not racist". However her creator, lead writer Anthony Burch, acknowledges it as an "interesting point." The team may "alter her dialog" in future content.

“Hey. I really like BL2?s writing, but Tiny Tina’s trope of “white girl talkin’ like them urban folk!!” has got to go," tweeted Cryptozoic Entertainment's Mike Stacco.

"Well, it's not going to," replied Anthony Burch initially. The Cryptozoic dev latter clarified that is "not a matter of offense. the subtext of the character is "black people talk funny". that's a problem". Another twitter user agreed it was an issue: "Its exaggerated stereotypical low class "black" lingo that with Tina amounts to verbal blackface."

Randy Pitchford entered the fray, tweeting to Anthony Burch: "tina is not racist because you are not racist. You're a pillar of tolerance and inclusion." It sparked a minor exchange between users debating no whether Tiny Tina was racist or not, whether specific words were racist or not etc.

"The last thing I want to be is exclusionary or prejudiced, so if Tina truly is problematic I'll change her," tweeted Burch. He was asked if Gearbox would retroactively change Tina's dialogue. "That's not actually feasible within the technical constraints of the game, but I'd alter her dialog in any future BL stuff."

Another user: "Don't edit your whimsy for a couple of f*cking crybabies. It's RACIST to say her words are black," later adding: "Tiny Tina isn't meant to be a 'joke'. She's a slightly insane character orphaned in a war-ridden world."

Will Tiny Tina be sent off for sensitivity training in future Borderlands 2 content? Previously Gearbox go into hot water when they described the new bonus player character as offering a 'girlfriend mode', which draw criticism for sexism, as they 'insinuated' female gamers were far less skilled to keep up and 'needed help'.

Source: PC Gamer

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Comments

By nocutius (SI Elite) on Feb 04, 2013
nocutius
Seems like an overreaction to me, aren't basically ALL the characters in Borderland games a stereotype of something? (including the heroes)
By noobst3R (SI Core) on Feb 04, 2013
noobst3R
What **** **** *** ********** ***.
By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Feb 04, 2013
danfreeman
Could someone tell me exactly what words make her sound racist? I mean she is crazy as all hell but racist????
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Feb 04, 2013
herodotus
*groan*
Political correctness once more out of control. Get over it.
By unsilviu (SI Core) on Feb 05, 2013
unsilviu
This is ridiculous, goblins in WoW are similarly "urban" in their accent and dialogue, but I've never seen anyone offended by them.
By Hammerjinx (SI Core) on Feb 05, 2013
Hammerjinx
I gotta say I don't get it. Then again, I don't really get how blackface is offensive either. Maybe I'd feel different if I was a minority or, you know, ever encountered racism. Ever.

I haven't had the opportunity to play Borderlands2, so haven't seen the controversy myself. Seems to me that, unless it's implying a qualitative difference, it's just a 2D effort at making a quirky character.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Feb 06, 2013
SirRoderick
A stereotype is NOT racism damn it.

....not to mention she's white! I mean come on...
By devel (SI Elite) on Feb 06, 2013
devel
It's a GAME! People should just play :\
By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Feb 06, 2013
stuntkid
I've not noticed!
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Feb 06, 2013
herodotus
Nah, I just don't get it. It's bloody madness and I've always objected to such nonsense. Unless something is said/acted-upon in a hateful, harmful, or otherwise derogatory way then it's not true racism but garbage political correctness, something I've never agreed with and never will.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Feb 08, 2013
FoolWolf
I was going to go on a rant - but seeing how the PK-fraidiness has spread so far they have gone so far as to make it an original sin scenario I will just shut up since I'm a white middle aged man and I'm supposedly to blame for all the evil in the world...
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Feb 08, 2013
SirRoderick
I just watched an episode of Top Gear...they were apologising for something they said about Mexicans last episode, as per usual :P

No one can take a bloody joke these days, it's sad.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Feb 08, 2013
FoolWolf
Reminds always of this:
"The simple fact is, offence is taken, not given. It's up to you if you're offended or not. And remember, just because you're offended, it doesn't mean you're right." - Ricky Gervais

http://www.postchronicle.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=283&num=395729