Hi, I’m Anthony Burch, lead writer of Borderlands 2 and its DLC. And today I’m going to talk about inclusivity.
I went to the #1ReasonToBe panel at Game Developers Conference this year, and something Mattie Brice said stood out to me:
“…[developers] are not explicitly saying “you are welcome here,” and because not, we assume we aren’t welcome. That is such an easy thing to correct.”
Upon hearing that, I wanted to clearly state the following: you are welcome here. Regardless of your race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, I personally want Gearbox to be an open and welcoming place to you. I can only speak for myself, of course – I'm just a jerkbag writer who's been in the industry for less than five years – but I believe that you can see evidence of attempts at inclusivity throughout Borderlands 2.
A WARNING: It's entirely likely that this article will come off incredibly arrogant, self-congratulatory, and condescending. You're going to see a lot of "I wanted to do this" and "I feel that this is important," not because I want to take credit for all of the things mentioned in this article (the vast majority of coolness I'm going to discuss comes from our artists and the voice actors), but because I don't want to speak for anybody else. Discussions about inclusivity can get pretty hairy pretty quickly, and I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth. Again: this may all come off as irritating and self-congratulatory, and I'm sorry about that.