Borderlands 3 may be the wokest game of 2019—a reflection of today’s politically correct times. It’s the first mainstream game to feature a major character with “they/them” pronouns—and its creators promise to ban anyone who disrespects the fictional hero.
Whereas Borderlands 2 was relatively normal (if you can call a game where you blast mutant psychos in a post-apocalyptic landscape to kingdom come “normal” in any way whatsoever), Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was littered with feminist references and a condemnation of “toxic masculinity.” Borderlands 3 follows in that vein.
The game’s creators at Gearbox are taking things a step further with the latest entry, due out this autumn.
Not content with simply having a few feminist references here and there, one of its main characters—a robot named FL4K (that’s pronounced “flack”) happens to be a multiple system. To translate from Tumblr-ese, a multiple system is someone (or in this case, something) with multiple personalities. Think multiple personality disorder.
FL4K is a whole system of AIs working in symphony—a cool concept, to say the least. The catch? FL4K, much like its virtue-signalling counterparts on Twitter, has a set of preferred pronouns—they/them. Someone should’ve told Gearbox that preferred pronouns are a poor substitute for a personality.
If this isn’t bad enough, moderators on the game’s official community have threatened to ban anyone who “misgenders” FL4K. Given that it’s voiced by a male voice actor, it should be no surprise that one might refer to FL4K as a “he.” Fans who don’t properly refer to FL4K as a “they” will be banned for violating the community’s rules against hate speech.
Speaking on behalf of Gearbox and 2K Games, a forum moderator named Tokesy97 delivered the edict:
“FL4K’s pronouns are ‘they/them’. You are not forced change your beliefs or viewpoint, but we’re clarifying and confirming that that is how the character is written, and as such should be referred to. Please remember that this forum’s rules include not attacking others for their beliefs.”
To clear things up: if you call FL4K “he” on purpose, you’ll get banned. If you do it by accident, your account will be spared. It’s unclear how the moderators will decide to interpret your motives.
In a universe populated by psychos (a term literally used to describe many of the game’s human enemies, who are mostly mentally ill), it’s comforting to know that the murderous lunatics who try to kill you will, at the very least, respect your pronouns.