Moral Low Ground


In Highly Anticipated “Duke Nukem” Sequel, Players Slap Women While Saving them from Alien Rapists

The good news for gamers: Gearbox’s  sequel to the popular 1990s shoot-’em-up video game “Duke Nukem,” creatively titled “Duke Nukem Forever,” is but a month or so from its highly anticipated release.

The bad news: The game’s storyline revolves around hero Duke Nukem, a hard-core, wise-cracking action tough guy, as he battles an invasion of hordes of aliens hell-bent on kidnapping and impregnating every female on the planet. That’s not the bad news. Bad news is, according to PC Gamer magazine, the game features an online “Capture the Babes” mode in which the player attempts to rescue the women from their alien-rape fates. If the “babe” freaks out while Duke’s rescuing her, the player slaps her back to her senses. Really.

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford told Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) that the company’s 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.” OXM says “Capture the Babe” mode is pretty much like any other “capture the flag” mode,  “with one small touch: the “Babe” will sometimes freak out while you’re carrying her (somewhat understandable we’d say) at which point you have to hit a button to gently give her a reassuring slap.”

A reassuring slap? Gearbox says they’re trying to “get right up to that edge and then relax enough so people don’t reject it.”

Consider it rejected.

Our "hero" Duke Nukem, in a previous incarnation.

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  1. SoAMarch 24, 2011 at 8:54 amReply

    That’s a pretty hypocritical stance don’t you think? When America gladly allows movies like Saw and Hostel to populate the markets with their respective R ratings, yet holds a double standards to an M-rated video game?

    After all, it is rated Mature and not meant to be played by those under the age of 17. Just because parents step in and buy games for their children to circumvent such a provision, the game creator should be blamed for the content?

    Further, I must point out that the game began development in 1995/1996; during which the cultural mindset was different. Views on sexuality and controversy were equally different, though not radically. And while yes, the game -does- objectify women. Its equally hypocritical to bash a game for it, when the law allows for systems like the adult film industry, strip clubs and escort services to exist; which -all- objectify women for the gratification of male/female demographics.

    While I certainly understand your direction, I thoroughly disagree with your point. If X is allowed and Y is the same but in a different form, then it should be allowed as well, and to reject it outright is quite frankly saddening.

    • Brett WilkinsMarch 24, 2011 at 9:00 amReplyAuthor

      Don’t get me wrong… in my youth I loved Duke Nukem, and more recently Grand Theft Auto Vice City, in which you get to pay prostitutes for sex, then kill them and take the money back. But I just don’t think that sort of thing is appropriate for any audience, even though it’s “just a game.” And that’s because, even though the game is rated Mature, you and I both know every 12-year-old FPS gamer is going to want to get his hands on this one– and most will, if they want to. I’m not saying that they’ll all go out and slap girls, either, just like only 1 idiot that I know of actually went out and stole a car after playing GTA. Still, any game in which women are treated this way is highly offensive and ought to be edited– which is exactly what I think the folks at Gearbox will end up doing. They’re probably after the publicity this controversy has stirred up, and look at us here talking about it!

      • Shawn SpeerMarch 24, 2011 at 1:35 pmReply

        You also gladly slapped around many a NBA franchise with the “Mighty Oaks” back in the early 90’s!

        • Brett WilkinsMarch 25, 2011 at 5:02 pmReplyAuthor

          Are you referring to Danny Schayes or Tom Chambers?

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