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Is Borderlands 3 Reflective of Social Media Culture?

Gearbox Software

At the time of writing this, I’m a Level 50 Beastmaster, having just finished the initial part of my Borderlands 3 journey, and I’m loving every minute of it. However, since I started the game, I’ve had some really deep thoughts about its plot that I’d like to share with you.

The antagonists of Borderlands 3 are Troy and Tyreen Calypso, two twin vloggers who form a violent cult in an attempt to gain possession of the vaults that lie beyond the planet Pandora. The very fact that the Calypso twins are vloggers is a reference to pop culture. But could it go much deeper than just a reference? Could it be an implication of a reality we are ignorant of?


PERCEPTION VS REALITY

Gearbox Software

Consider what social media looks like now. We scour sites like YouTube and Instagram for creators we identify with, creators who inspire us, creators who warm our hearts, creators who stand for what we believe in. We then mistakenly find some sort of fulfillment in those people as we hold them up to a state of character that is probably higher than they could ever live up to.

We treat them like celebrities, like the stars we see on the screen that we think are really like the characters they portray, simply because we’ve seen their edited side. We develop a desire to be like them. We may even talk, act, or dress like them. We become more invested in their lives than we are our own. In a sense, we make them somewhat of a god. Yet, behind the scenes, they are just as human as anyone else.

Is it possible that Gearbox’s use of the Calypso twins in Borderlands 3 is an intentional move meant to portray the unfortunate reality of current social media culture? I believe so.

As a former YouTuber, I am a living example of someone who is not entirely the person he portrays online. My fairly small audience of about 10,000 subscribers saw someone who is energetic, constantly smiling, always looking at the positive side of things, and always having fun. I really am often that kind of person, but I can also be tired, stressed, frustrated, grumpy, and negative. That’s what makes me human.

Gearbox Software

Is it possible that Gearbox’s use of the Calypso twins in Borderlands 3 is an intentional move meant to portray the unfortunate reality of current social media culture? I believe so. In fact, the name Calypso actually means “she that conceals,” which is exactly what social media creators do. They conceal their humanity with a false, perfected image of themselves, whether accidentally or purposefully, and it encourages others to follow them.

Obviously, the following the Calypso twins have amassed in Borderlands 3 is next level, but is it out of touch with reality? Their followers are basically brainwashed psychopaths who will stop at nothing to convert the rest of the world. Is that not currently happening? Have we not even witnessed violence from the most hardcore of those loyal to famous creators?


Gearbox may not be predicting our future or anything, but they’re probably on to something here. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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