One of the recent stories running across gaming news headlines is that Gearbox Software has removed certain terms from Borderlands 3 that are not “super sensitive”, according to Gearbox Software producer Chris Brock.
PCGamesN published an article based on a hands-off preview of Borderlands 3, where they explained…
“When asked whether Gearbox’s developers had a desire to move away from using certain terms, Brock said that a specific attempt had been made to remove the term ‘midget’ – a word often used as an insult to describe extremely short people – from the game, because “it’s not super sensitive.”
“A hands-off demo revealed that Midget – a term which was used to denominate a diminutive subclass of multiple enemy types in previous games in the series – is no longer in use. Instead, smaller versions of enemies are referred to as ‘Tinks’.”
They noted that “Psychos” are still used as a common term in the game, despite the fact that some Social Justice types feel that contains negative connotations.
GameRant speculated about what other terms may have been removed from Borderlands 3 that the team felt was not “super sensitive”. A list of the naughty terms was not rolled out.
Gamers opted to ask Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford about the censorship of certain terms in Borderlands 3, saying that the derogatory remarks are part of what gives the series its charm. On May 4th, 2019, Pitchford responded by saying that there was no censorship.
It’s not a censorship thing.
We thought it was fun for those little guys to be the scrappy ones. They make little turrets and shit and dive into scrap piles. We started calling them “tinkerers” and that got shortened. It’s also something unique to our game now, which is nice.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 4, 2019
If the suppression of certain terms or content isn’t considered censorship than what is it?
I did ask Pitchford why specifically the term “midget” was removed but “psycho” still stayed, but as of the writing of this article he hasn’t responded.
We’ve seen other developers make these kind of creative concessions in the face of a more politically correct landscape. Even the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio removed certain content from the remaster of Yakuza 3 in order to be more sensitive of today’s sociopolitical climate.
Mortal Kombat 11 is another game that has undergone quite the makeover in lieu of political correctness. The women have been de-sexualized, some of the characters were spouting Left-wing agitprop during their endings, and they made sure they had no “problematic” content on display (other than the comically over-the-top gore) in order to appease the Cultural Commissars. As the Dick Masterson show pointed out, the soccer moms won as far as Mortal Kombat is concerned.
Depending on how much had to be removed or changed to accommodate the feelings of the safe-space seeking cartel of creativity, will depend on how far removed Borderlands 3 will be from its more irreverent predecessors.
(Thanks for the news tip FightSJWCensorship)