Geek Revolt

Tiny Tina Isn’t Racist, Just Eccentric (Borderlands 2)


Yesterday Borderland 2’s lead writer Anthony Burch was bombarded with tweets about Tiny Tina. Some BL2 players think she’s making fun of the black community because she says things like ‘badonkadonk’. Now I’m all for getting rid of stereotypes, but there’s nothing wrong with Tiny Tina. Finding her racist says more about the offended parties than it does the game’s writing.

This won’t take long.

The character is all over the place. If you only hear slang when you listen to her than you’re not listening hard enough. Her voice often jumps between childish, creepy, calming, extremely proper, and ghetto fabulous. Sure, the last one sticks out the most, but it’s just one facet of her personality (see quotes below for examples).

“Sir Reginald is only one of the many illustrious guests who will be attending my tea party”

“You got Princess Fluffybutt? Oh Man. This party is gonna be off the chizzo, for rizzo.”

“Ahahaah! Burn all the babies!”

She’s an eccentric 13-year-old, there’s no racism going on here. And her personality makes sense within the context of the game. Most of Borderland 2’s characters are quirky and over the top. That’s part of the game’s charm.


I find characters like Cole Train from Gears of War more offensive than Tiny Tina. Now he’s reinforcing negative stereotypes. Borderlands 2’s main black character isn’t a parody. If Anthony Burch were truly insensitive he would’ve taken that route with Roland. Because let’s face it – that’s how most black characters are portrayed in video games.

I can’t believe we’re even talking about this. Borderlands 2 came out five months ago. Why is this just coming to our attention now? If this were a problem it would’ve been brought up a long time ago. Mike Sacco (the guy who started this debate) needs to just lighten up. You offend too easily my friend.

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "28-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."
  • …?

    Dude, it just sounds like the usual inane bullcrap. OF COURSE Tiny Tina’s character isn’t racist, or even offensive on any level. OF COURSE there are much more offensive things out there that deserve this sort of negative attention. It’s just the typical chumps trying to start trouble where there shouldn’t be any. I feel like even writing an article like this gives them too much credit and attention.

    • It really does, but it was so silly (and random) I had to say something. I have a hard time ignoring stupidity.

  • Ludakriss

    Well, there goes another great, funny, skilled writer that’s gonna have to either shush down or probably lose position in a company.

    I’m curious. Who is this color-weary complaining person? And when’s the last time you’ve picked cotton, asshole?

  • Curt John

    She’s 13, and she tortures and butchers people. This sort of crazy senseless violence isn’t even -noticed- by people any more, but she makes a couple statements that offend a few people because ONLY black people are allowed to say them, and suddenly SHE is racist and offensive.
    One of the number one things I think is wrong with the first world is how easily people get upset and offended when others make fun, innocent comments poking silliness at the differences between us. Grow-the-fuck-up people, we’re different and it’s hilarious, not scary.