After last year’s “RapeLay” video game, which allowed players to sexually assault women, went viral despite attempts to get it removed from store shelves, a new foray into video game sexism is yet another disgusting disappointment. A new iteration of the popular 1996 game Duke Nukem 3D openly objectifies women and allows the players to abuse female characters by kidnapping them and dragging them away. If the woman “freaks out,” the player can slap her. The creators say that because the player is slapping the woman on the butt, and not the face, this is somehow acceptable.
All of this is made possible through a variant in the new game, Duke Nukem Forever, called “Capture the Babe,” where in order to score, the player needs to capture and abduct a “babe.”
“The ‘Babe’ will sometimes freak out while you’re carrying her (somewhat understandably we’d say), at which point you have to hit a button to gently give her a reassuring slap,” explained Xbox Magazine, adding that the game was “more goofy than offensive.”
Randy Pitchford, the CEO of Gearbox Studios, which bought the rights to the game last year, explained that they see themselves as somehow cutting-edge: “Our goal isn’t to shock people, but I think there’s some stuff that’ll be just a bit uncomfortable,” he said. “We try to get right up to that edge and then relax enough so people don’t reject it.”
There seems like a lot, though, that people (myself included) would reject out of hand. For one thing, the game is rated Mature for a variety of sexual elements, including “a couple of missions [which] require players to recover sex toys and pictures of topless women. A few sequences strongly imply sexual acts: Two women appear to perform fellatio on the central character.” The rating ostensibly means that people under 17 can’t buy the game without parental permission, but online, consumers just need to click a button saying they’re over 17. And frankly, this doesn’t seem like the kind of thing anyone should be playing, regardless of their age.
Photo from Flickr.