In this edition of 'generation gaps cause ignorance', Fox News gets its Duke Nukem Forever hate bandwagon started. In a recent article, everyone's favourite conservative network shed light on the sexual innuendo in Gearbox's (presumably) upcoming sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, and parties like it's 1996.


The vice president (the actual president probably is a man) of the Women's Media Center, Jamia Wilson, doesn't hesitate to feed the troll: "These depictions of women are extremely harmful, especially to young women." She refers to the portrayal of women in Duke Nukem Forever, which floats somewhere between 'submissive bimbos' and 'prostitutes'. As an example, the article mentions 'Capture the Babe', a multiplayer mode in which you have to carry a babe (or female, if you will; don't sue me) to your base, and give her a "reassuring slap" when she starts to freak out.


While it is definitely cute that someone would take the over-the-top, obviously ironic sexism in Duke Nukem Forever seriously, it's just silly to assume that any sensible gamer would do the same. In the article itself it is mentioned that the game is only for ages 17 and up, and usually those people have enough common sense and life experience to distinguish a humoristic video game from real life. They aren't gullible rubbish bins you can just stuff with false information until they transform into zealous idiots who have lost all connection with reality. Except maybe people who watch Fox News.

In all seriousness, though, it is shocking to see how criticasters such as Fox and Jack Thompson still do not seem to grasp the concept of 'this game is not directed towards children', so implying that the audience of Duke Nukem Forever consists of gullible preteens hardly puts the blame on the developer, but rather on the parents who allow their children to buy this game.
Fox News even went on to suggest that the recent delay of the game may be related to an alleged "what-were-they-thinking response shared across the gaming community" (yeah, the local chess club maybe). Little do they know that The Duke never comes early. And that he always wins.

Jesse Dolman, NoobFeed.
Foxy News
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  • Apart from your opinionated view, let me just state that I also have issues with "Capture the Babe" mode's 'reassuring slap'. As emulation is one of the biggest behavioral modifiers in mankind, I bleieve that making a fun game out of subjecting women to violence is a very delicate apsect that could have major long-term (subconscious) reprucussions in the human psyche. Being 17 doesn't necessarily mean having a fully developed consicence pattern, so I can see where this would be a concern, regarding rises in teen violence and aggravated crimes such as rape etc.

    There's a fine line between a submissive woman, such as the comical stripper/money option in Duke Nukem 3D and an abused woman such as smacking her for the benefit of the player. It's all fun and games when the digital lesbians are acting out a teen's fantasies, but it's something different when a developer makes it 'ok' to also smack her around if she falls out of line.

    But perhaps this mode is for everyone who wants to be 'winning' like Charlie Sheen.

    Yes, Fox News is overly harsh on anything not purely based on upper-middle class, white christian, conservatism; that doesn't necessarily mean there's not a grain of truth to be found in their concern.

    Posted Mar 27, 2011

  • @Daav: I really do not think it is very likely that anyone who is legally allowed to play this game will not be able to distinguish the obvious silliness of the entire game and all of its aspects from the real world. It's true that being 17 years old doesn't make one automatically mature, but to assume that this will in any way influence the view such a person holds on women goes way too far for me.


    At the very most, unstable, antisocial people may be influenced by this game, but they need help either way, and it would be silly to base what can or cannot be done in the entertainment industry around the few nutcases that aren't capable of exercising common logic.


    Besides, there are much worse things to be found in this respect. The most disgusting sites are only a mouseclick away, and there are tons of obscure movies and anime flicks that go way further than this game ever would, with the worst part being that they're actually serious.


    To me, it just seems like DNF is another easy target because it is a video game, and much more at risk of becoming the subject of fear mongering and general controversy. Yes, I do think video games can influence the minds of people in a certain way (see my Russians article),  but when the irony is laid on so thick, that's just not very plausible. The whole point of the sexism of this game is that it is a tongue-in-cheek reference to extreme masculinity. We all know it's completely ridiculous, and those who don't are probably too socially inept to talk to a girl, let alone slap her.

    Posted Mar 27, 2011

  • @Degtyarev: I somewhat agree that only a percentage of weak-willed individuals will be affected. But I think it's lazy on our collective part to shrug our shoulders and say that it's out of our hands, while we could be beating it to the punch, before it becomes a convoluted issue that truly IS out of our hands, once the game is spread to masses. There is only 1 party at the moment that can halt any issues, being Gearbox, so I dfon't believe it's too much to demand that 1 party for discretion, instead of asking the entire planet to fall in line after the facts.

    My point therefore is not so much around the 'obvious irony', but is more centered around Gearbox enabling wrongful behaviour, where it has a choice to still be offensive (since DNF is going to be so anyways) without the use of this enablement. The fact that there is worse things is irrelevant to this discussion; something worse does not justify something bad.

    Assuming a person will not resort to violent activities based on your own opinion doesn't really hold up either. I also don't think a person should do crime, but it doesn't stop someone who is led to believe crime is not wrong. As a whole, assumptions are a risky business; one that can be offset through psychoanalsys research statements of emulation around violence and behavioral problems in general, not just video games. I also believe that the responsibility of one's actions lay with the individual and upbringing and not games, as per my editorial around game violence (which I could've sworn to publish on Noobfeed, but apparently, not).  But that doesn't mean that we should just hand people the means to act like savages and then expect them not to follow through on that primal behaviour.

    tldr: Monkey see, monkey do. With the emphasis on monkey, regarding our primal Id thinking patterns. Remember that these reprecussions will not (or extremely rarely) be a direct cause, since obviously DNF will not directly lead to acts of violence. Which is exactly why caution should be used around this subject, as once it's too late, no one can trace the element back to its subconscious origin.

    In all, this is just a fine nuance from 'this is ridiculous' towards 'ok, there might be a point in there', nothing more.

    Posted Mar 27, 2011

  • @Daav: What I meant with my 'there are worse things out there' argument is that it seems petty for such a big news source to call foul over something like this, as it diverts attention away from what's really important. I think this whole discussion surrounding the influence of video games is too easy. Video games now come into play only when superficial sexism and/or violence is presented as a cause for problems in society that are way more complex.

    As such, the semantic value of Fox's News' article goes way beyond the mere 'Capture the Babe' example: If you read between the lines, they are discussing whether or not this should be allowed (seeing as they implicitly question the authority of the ESRB). And it is this protective attitude that bothers me.

    Thing is, IF there are people out there who would change their view on women partly due to DNF, we can say 'okay, we can change it just to make sure', but then the question is where do you draw the line? A free society will always be filled with potentially harmful elements that may, in combination with a whole lot of other factors, trigger unwanted behaviour. But that is not a reason to avoid them, if you ask me. Thing is, twisted people will always find reasons to be led astray, and that is something you cannot control. The best thing you can do is to focus on why someone cannot cope with certain things he sees in whatever medium. Wanting to control everything that may or may not influence our psyche on the long run just seems slightly megalomanic to me.

    But back to the article; we should take into account that the babe-slapping issue was only one point of the entire argument. The argument went much further, as it even called the original Duke Nukem 3D and its pixellated boobies shocking, claiming that it 'forever changed the way that video game developers viewed women'. The entire article is basically full of these wild claims, yet provides little to no evidence to support them. That is why I think it's ridiculous. Maybe I should have focused on that instead of the Capture the Babe example, but even if they had a point with that (which I still think they don't), the rest of the article is still too over-the-top for me to consider it plausible.

    Posted Mar 27, 2011

  • "...and give her a "reassuring slap" when she starts to freak out."

    Not going to lie... this made me laugh, a lot.

    As a female gamer myself, I don't have a problem with sexism in games. It makes it all the more amusing.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • My issue only stands on the Capture the Babe mode feature, on anything esle I'm still in Camp Gamer. I just don't think major developers should give incentives on some minor sorts of behaviour when it can choose to go a different direction; it's hardly 'controlling everything'. But I don't think hiding behind a giant 'free speech suckers!' banner is decent by any standard either; if that'd be the case, why discuss morals at all? Let's just depict the most horrid, vile epitomies of man, smack an "M" sticker on it and call it a day. This would revert to the shrug effect I mentioned earlier. There's a step behind the line and there's one over it and I think that small detail is over it, removing it would still make it offensive, but behind that line.

    I thought DN3D was fairly offensive too, but hardly to a point worth crying about. The ESRB rating is very flawed, the "We Dare" fiasco recently showed that a rating is just a rating, despite content. And I'm sure fox moans and cries about every aspect in life, like I mentioned before, we gamers just don't pay attention to it until they point the finger at us. Socialized healthcare is the devil for them, so anything even remotely different from their 1950's point of view should trigger their fear of change. Now that I think of it, they should stand behind smacking women from that standpoint; the 50s didn't care for women. In my country alone, women gained the right to vote in 1948; that's after WWII, which sounds insane.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • Oh, Fox News. Tongue-in-cheek humor on a title that has a mature rating. Let's blow this out of proportion, shall we?

    But it's not like we didn't know this game was going to get some panties in a bunch. If it didn't, it wouldn't be the Duke. Fans of the series want an edgy game, not a safe one.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • O such comedy. I really love these articles. I really really really hate feminist women almost as much as i hate macho men. The world has come to a level that legally and rightfully men, women and kids of all races, ethnic backgrounds and etc, are all "treated" equal and what not. however, any comment made by anyone that might be offensive towards a group of people is automatically regarded as some extreme recurring idea and or habbit. Cant say the word Nigga in a game, thats offensive. Cant depict women as people who are the weaker sex, no thats degrading. Cant have sensible men, hell thats just damned right anti macho and blasphemous!

    Truth is, people need a reason to complain in this world. And they would really try to do it the easiest way and if possible against oponents that wouldnt fight back much. Most video game companies, as far as i am aware of, dont even do anything about anything when articles like this come out. So i again look at these articles and laugh at the stupidy of people. Instead of covering cruel acts of human nature going on all around the globe, they concentrate on insignificant things that should be handled by other people whom for the sake of argument i will call them "PARENTS".

    In short, i am not really offended or anything by the game. I am indiferent about the article, however game wise i dont see it as that big of a deal. We had hookers in GTA, they wrote articles about that, attacked the game, and here we are today. Everyone still loves GTA dispite the hookers, and the negative articles, and well  you get the point.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • I don't see why this has been an issue really. Females like @caityful and anyone plays game won't have issues with this matter. You are being a little too scared @Daavpuke. You can rest assure that the weak-willed individuals won't be playing any Duke game. There are plenty of Pokemon type games to keep them busy.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • @Sleven: I'll more than likely play it and I have issues with it, so that's already out the window. Also, again with the shrug factor. Never assume something will not happen, simply because you personally don't consider it an option. Man is not a uniform race, I'm afraid; I'm just offering the counterbalance.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • @Daavpuke : I honestly never thought of this issue before this news was posted. This is just a game we are talking about. Not any real movie or resident. Everyone can relax a little at least on the games.

    Posted Mar 28, 2011

  • Summary: Fox News trolled you, just like everyone else, and you fed it. Just like everyone else.

    Posted Mar 29, 2011


    @sucktckulr: I feel like calling Fox News a troll might be giving it too much credit for creatively generating traffic, and also having a sense of humor

    Posted Apr 05, 2011

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