At Gearbox’s PAX Prime panel attended by Eurogamer, studio head Randy Pitchford honoured a very unusual fan request: a couple of Borderlands players wanted to get married at the conclusion of the developer’s presentation.
Indeed, Michael and Melanie Refuerzo tied the knot in front of Pitchford and a few dozen cosplayers on stage while thousands in the audience watched on.
It all began a year and a half ago when, Melanie, an occupational therapist, got Michael, a US Navy man, into the popular shooter.
“When we got together and started playing games together I had it on my console,” Melanie said to Eurogamer shortly after the ceremony. “So I went to go cook dinner and he popped on my Xbox and went ‘okay, I’ll just play this.'”
“I just started playing it right there and was like ‘hey, this game’s pretty awesome.’ And we just started playing a co-op game together splitscreen,” Michael added.
At the time the couple had only been dating a week. As such, they credit their relationship to Borderlands. “That’s when I found out that she was a gamer,” Michael laughed. “She has a higher Gamerscore than me. So I obviously had to trump that somehow.” (Melanie was quick to point out that her Gamerscore is still 6000 above her husband’s.)
This made a Borderlands-themed PAX wedding a perfect fit for this vault hunting duo. “We wanted to do something for just me and Melanie and because we both love PAX so much and it’s so special to us; and because we love Gearbox, Borderlands, [and] everything they do,” Michael said. “We really just wanted to make it about being gamers. We didn’t want to do a big traditional formal wedding with a dress and a suit. That’s not us. We’re two simple gamers and what better way to have a wedding than here?”
So Michael went about arranging this grand romantic gesture by tweeting this suggestion to Randy Pitchford, which he sneakily did from Melanie’s account. The next day they awoke to 25 Twitter notifications as Pitchford had favourited it and passed it along to his colleagues.
“From there it was a whirlwind of making sure everything was good to go,” Michael said.
And good it was. Using an impromptu Seattle wedding service called Shotgun Ceremonies, they managed to set everything up in time while their families, approvingly, watched it on Twitch.
“I couldn’t have found a better person for me, especially since you came up with this crazy plan for our wedding and shared our passion for gaming,” Melanie said during her wedding vows. “I pledge to be faithful, patient and supportive always. I promise to love and respect you. You’re the Roland to my Lilith and there’s nobody I’d rather spend my life with.”