Today, Randy Pitchford fielded a question from MCV Pacific Journalist of the Year 2011 Laura Parker on the now infamous ‘girlfriend mode’.
Pitchford was a guest on the OzSpot podcast, where Parker asked him to weight in on the media’s reaction to the comments.
Pitchford answered by pointing to the wider context of discrimination generally, proclaiming that gender-based discrimination was “evil and needs to die”, making it clear that in his world all forms of discrimination against anyone fits into this same category.
He did comment that if gamers felt like a creator they admired was exhibiting prejudice, that we were right to abhor that, and that we absolutely should, but went on to explain that when Hemmingway spoke, he intended that the comment to refer specifically to his girlfriend and her skill level.
To hear Pitchford’s comments in context, check out the full video at GameSpot at around the 10 minute mark.
When the debate got heated late last week, Ashley Jenkins (who recently announced a move from Meteor Entertainment to IGN) tweeted that it was a ‘cool concept, but a f@#ked up nickname’, which Pitchford then responded to.
David Wildgoose, Group Editor for PC Powerplay and HYPER magazines, meanwhile, got the attention of God of War creator David Jaffe with this article on the PC Powerplay web site.
Jaffe had made a blog post pointing to the male-dominated player base of Borderlands 2 in support of the misspoken Hemmingway (while also stating that such a moniker was both offensive and sexist).
The issue has flared up time and time again in recent months, and the main contentions with the discussion’s presence seems to come from people ignorant of the issue being discussed, or upset with the ‘troublemakers’ who want to shed light on the pervasive and endemic misogyny present in videogame communities.
While Gearbox has been the latest company to draw fire for a very public affront, Pitchford’s active engagement with the problem and his above condemnation of that type of behaviour is an admirable step, especially considering that the media attention the controversy has garnered makes his words amplify that much further.
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