Duke NEVER Comes Early

Column: Takin’ Care of Business
by Scott L. Clark

He's here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but he's all out of bubblegum.

Nothing sparks a good coversation like a good bit of controversey, right? Some recent news in the video game industry has raised a few eybrows in terms of content. Now I know that 75% just read the words “video game” and immediately decided to click to a different page, but don’t give up on me just yet.

For those of you not familiar with the franchise, “Duke Nukem” originally first appeared on the PC in 1991 and starred the over-exagerrated macho man pictured above. 1996 brought the advent of 3-D gaming, and Duke Nukem was reimagined in a much more realistic, first-person setting and shocked its players with it over-sexualized theme. As the player takes control of our hero, he makes several innuendos throughout the game and has the ability to talk to prostitutes (and offer them money and demand them to “Shake it, baby”) as well as walk into strip clubs and see topless women dance on stage.

OK, now that I’ve lost the majority of you…

In 1997, the developer of the original Duke Nukem announced that it was making a new sequel called “Duke Nukem Forever”, which has been sort of joke in the video game industry ever since. Wondering why? well, the game is finally coming out this June. Yes, “Duke Nukem Forever” has been legitimately in development for almost 14 years.

But that’s not where the controversey lies. Nudity in games, although still not applauded by the masses, is no longer a new concept. That said, the content throughout the game is still over-the-top with the innuendos and grotesque situations that will make many of you cringe at the thought of them. What’s really turning heads with Duke Nukem Forever is a multiplayer mode titled “Capture the Babe”. Think “Capture the Flag”, but instead of snatching a flag from the opposing team’s base, you are rescuing scantily-clad women from impregnation by an alien force. While carrying your “babe” back to your base, it’s possible that she might become hysterical. To calm her down, the player presses a button on the controller to slap her on the ass. I’m not making this up. Trust me, this isn’t my most proud moment to call myself a gamer.

As you can imagine, this is causing quite a stir. On one hand, I understand that this type of atmosphere in a game is very tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously by any stretch of the imagination. On the other, I also realize the negative stigma that something like this can put on my favorite hobby. I find it especially interesting that something that is supposed to be more of a joke than anything else is so offensive while more popular titles that have people kill literally thousands of people get far less criticism.

So what about the rest of you? Should Gearbox Software be burnt at the stake, or can you laugh at something like this?

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~ by Scott L. Clark on April 18, 2011.

2 Responses to “Duke NEVER Comes Early”

  1. I am a girl and I think it is funny. 🙂 I mean it is just a video game after all.

  2. I get that they’re games, and I’d probably find them enjoyable if I played them. But the whole idea of finding fun out of killing and the sexual representation of women is not for me. I find watching violence one thing, but to partake in it for fun (fake or not) another…it’s just not for me.

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