Duke Nukem Forever – exchanging flags for “babes”
Duke Nukem Forever has been in development since 1997. There are a lot of people who a pretty excited about it’s upcoming release. I admit I’m not one of them (I always preferred Doom) but have been interested to see how Gearbox have updated the franchise. It seems they’re going for a hefty dose of controversy (or stupidity?).
Check out the “Capture the Babe” multiplayer mode:
Duke Nukem Forever’s “Capture the Babe” CTF variant requires you to abduct a woman to score. The mode is revealed in the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine US where they explain that Gearbox will give the option to give her a “slap” if she “freaks out” as you drag her across the map.
I…see. Excuse me for saying so, but doesn’t that sound a bit…sexist? Women becoming literal objects to be won and who just need a reassuring slap as their womanly hormones make them hysterical when captured? Oh I know, I know, it’s meant to be ironic and Duke Nukem is a satire of the whole guns, women and glory genre. But I don’t get the joke. Usually a satire makes a comment or pokes fun at the original. This is just straight up sexism – or a really lousy joke.
But perhaps it makes sense in context of the game?
Speaking to the magazine, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford said: “Our goal isn’t to shock people, but I think there’s some stuff that’s a bit uncomfortable. I mean, the alien’s plan is to capture our women and impregnate them to breed an alien army, so you can imagine some horrible shit happens.”
“Our women?” Hmmm.
Just for the record, if alien’s invade Earth with plans to capture, rape and impregnate women I won’t be standing around, swooning hysterically, waiting to be saved. I’ll be armed to the teeth!
It’s not like I’m particularly offended by this game mode. More disappointed. It feels like the chance for actual irony or parody has been missed and the game has become exactly what it set out to mock. Like Kurt Vonnegut said “Be careful what you pretend to be, because in the end, you are what you pretend to be.”