A trolling storm has been generated by mech game BattleTech’s use of non-gender-specific pronouns in its character creation system.
With depressing predictability, developer Harebrained Schemes’ decision to allow players to describe its mech pilots as “they” as well as “he” or “she” has led to a rash of outraged trolling on Reddit. With the alt-right Gamergate protagonists at the forefront, making comments like: “I don’t like modern day politics being forced into an established lore. I am voting with my wallet on this,” along with plenty that are much less repeatable.
Over on Steam’s discussion forums, the debate over BattleTech also rages, albeit with more gamers prepared to defend Harebrained Schemes’ use of pronouns, and pointing out that should you wish, you can still call your BattleTech character “he” or “she”.Perhaps because BattleTech is based on a venerable board game, the completely trivial design decision, which would otherwise have been easily missed, has attracted the attention of the sort of GamerGate trolls who feel, for example, that a female-cast Ghostbusters “Destroyed their childhood”.
Whatever your views on the matter, it acts as great publicity for BattleTech which launched yesterday on PC and Mac, published by Paradox Interactive. If turn-based mech strategy games are your thing, it’s well worth checking out.