Step 1: Create an environment where skilled female gamers are subjected to brutal abuse.
When Miranda Pakozdi entered the Cross Assault video game tournament this year, she knew she had a slim chance of winning the $25,000 prize. But she was ready to compete, and promised fans watching online that she would train just as hard as, if not harder than, anyone else.
Over six days of competition, though, her team’s coach, Aris Bakhtanians, interrogated her on camera about her bra size, said “take off your shirt” and focused the team’s webcam on her chest, feet and legs. He leaned in over her shoulder and smelled her.
Ms. Pakozdi, 25, an experienced gamer, has said she always expects a certain amount of trash talk. But as the only woman on the team, this was too much, especially from her coach, she said. It was after she overheard Mr. Bakhtanians defending sexual harassment as part of “the fighting game community” that she forfeited the game.
Step 2: Foster the misogynistic impression that unskilled female gamers are unskilled due to an innate lack of talent rather than a reasonable unwillingness to spend time in a misogynistic environment.
The skill tree is called Best Friends Forever, what lead designer John Hemingway dubbed the "girlfriend mode".
"The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we've ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That's what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is."
One of the first skills available in the BFF tree is called Close Enough. This means your bullets that hit walls or other objects, that is, miss their target, have a chance to ricochet off towards the enemy.
"Can't aim? That's not a problem," Hemingway said.
Step 3: Persistently defend misogynistic actions as not misogynistic, using sweeping hyperbolic language that indicates the complete impossibility! of male sexism and the total likelihood! of female retribution in the face of same, because that totally happens all the time in Real Life. Bonus points if the defense comes from a man who is unlikely to have experienced misogyny first-hand at all, let alone from his dudebro sexist buddies. Insist that factual articles about sexist statements are a lot of tempest in a pot of tea.
You may have noticed Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford speaking out against the "girlfriend mode" nickname on Twitter. [...]
"Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode," Pitchford stated on Twitter. "Anyone that says otherwise is misinformed or trying to stir up something that isn't there. [...]
Pitchford didn't deny that Hemingway had said "girlfriend mode". Instead, he labelled the term a "personal anecdote" that had been spun by the media.
"There is no universe where Hemingway is a sexist," Pitchford added. "All the women at Gearbox would beat his and anyone else's ass."
Step 4: Dig deeper to make it absolutely clear that you don't know what misogyny is, couldn't identify it from a hole in the ground, and adamantly don't want to be informed about it because knowledge might make your delicious male privilege taste less nomtastic.