Is Duke Nukem Sexist?
By Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman
*Andrew "Jester" Dalan: No. It reflects the natural world view. I think they're horribly pixelized and I wish they had a high-res model.
Evil Avatar: I would like to start by saying that I'm a huge Fan of Duke Nukem 3D. No other game had its breakthrough technology, its Humor, the attitude, and the level of interactivity that Duke Nukem 3D brought to the first person shooter genre. In the few years since Duke Nukem 3D came out though, a certain "attitude" has crept into many computer games...and that is the attitude that its OK to portray women as sex objects in computer games. It started with the strippers in Duke, but its become something much worse. Duke Nukem 3D had a few cartoon strippers, and "chicks" in bikini's, but even in Duke, it wasn't really over-done. There was the strip club, which is only a small part of one level, and then there were a few "chicks" scattered throughout the remaining levels, but nothing horribly offensive. Duke's success, however, brought about something else. Because Duke was commercially successful suddenly it was politically correct to have mild nudity or sexism in computer games. Penthouse Magazine even did a Duke Nukem 3D level with scanned images of Penthouse playmates. I think that after Duke, it was other developers and fans who turned Duke's playful PG-13 attitude into something more hard core. I don't think that the "chicks" in Duke Nukem 3D helped sell the game, I feel that it was more an overall package of a more humorous/adult oriented theme that appealed to gamers. Duke's success to me is Duke Nukem the character, his voice, his attitude, that sold the game, not just the sexism...that's part of the whole package. Since Duke, we have seen Lara Croft turned from a gutsy female Indiana Jones, into a huge breasted bikini wearing bimbo with guns, Deathtrap Dungeon advertised with a sadomasochistic bondage mistress, and SiN's Elexis Sinclaire portrayed as some kind of Frederick's of Hollywood disco latex queen. I find this kind of sexism offensive, and insensitive to our growing group of female gamers. I hesitate to think about what Duke Nukem Forever will contain.
Steve "sCary" Gibson: Well, here's my take. They made what sells.
I've seen lots of movies with strippers in them, hadn't bothered me any. It's a fact of life, some women choose that profession. It upsets a few women that their own kind would choose to exploit themselves but guess what, those women are doing what sells. Why should we treat a computer game that has strippers in it any differently. Only complaint I would have is the Duke3D boxes should have been tagged with "adult material" sticker or something. I don't know, are they? If someone really thinks that because the creators of Duke3D chose to include a bar scene in their game means they are oppressing women they need to think a little bit harder. Wait a minute, I think I'm gonna object to those Rambo movies. It portrays men as big muscular dumb oxen who like to carry guns. We aren't all like that! I've been oppressed! I'm so offended and upset I cant write anymore. It hurts me so deep down inside that someone would stereotype a male like that.
Victoria Gwaed: yeah... it's sexist in a way... but at the same time it's sort of making fun of sexists...I'm amused by it. *shrug*
*Toby "The Headhunter" Herndon: Not at all. I think it's cool. It's all in good fun, if you can't tell the difference between a game and real life you shouldn't be playing it anyway. I think it was a good game from the outset. You buy a game because it's technically advanced, it's fun to play, you have a good time. It probably is going to appeal to a younger audience, but that's not what I like about it. I like the excitement, the deathmatch, stuff like that.
Ron Jomero: There was a lot of stuff in Duke3D related to porn magazines, erotic dancers, and naked girls being stuck in alien pods begging you to kill them. Sure, I admit that it did appeal to me hormonally, but it really wasn't all THAT great. So, I could see it being sexist in that respect. Unless you mean that it's sexist that you can *only* play Duke and he's a pig. So I'd agree with you there too.
The things that really turned me off from the game were A: All the Army of Darkness ripped off quotes, and B: Duke saying to a monster "I'm gonna rip off your head and shit down your throat!" followed by a detailed animated sequence of him doing just that.
I'm sorry, but those things don't make a good game in my book. Duke3D employed a bunch lame gimmicks to appeal to a certain crowd. I probably fit in that "crowd" seeing I was between 16-21 when I played it. But it really wasn't all that great for me and I personally started disliking it and still dislike it to this day. The only thing that I found appealing was the fact that it's 3D engine was superior to Doom's and Hexen, but just wasn't enough to overpower my other pet peeves.
And then Quake came out. End of Story. =]
*Jacob "Bitstream" Karlsmark: I don't really know. I've never really been a Duke fan, just the attitude game never really impressed me, that kind of macho, Rambo type thing. I know that's kind of strange, but it's also the real world setting. Those kind of real world settings never turn me on, I like when I go play games, take me somewhere else. I don't want to go to the corner store and blow up the counter.
*Dave "Zoid" Kirsch: I've never considered that. It may be, there may be some sexist overtones in it, but I think it's all part of the style of the game. Whether it's sexist or not depends on the person playing. If that's the type of game they want to portray, and it's portrayed in a humorous aspect, I have no problem with it.
*Alison "Flower" Leger: Not really. It doesn't really bother me at all, just because, it's a game. I don't know, a lot of people say Clan Crackwhore, you already exploit that anyway, but to us, it's just a joke. We don't take it seriously.
*Sean "Redwood" Martin: Some of it is OK, but one thing that really bothered me is that you blow the women up. I think it just gives the wrong mindset, targeting women. I think that really bothers me the most. I think if they were there and couldn't really do anything to them, they were just a piece of the world, that wouldn't bother me quite so much, but the violence, is just over the limit.
Kevin Murphy: I don't think there is sexism in Duke 3D. I don't remember seeing even one kitchen sink in the game.
Seriously, I don't think there was sexism in the game. I mean, why is the fact that there are women in bikinis dancing necessarily "sexist?" Why is being a big, muscle-bound guy who is into porn and violence and shooting pigs dressed as cops not sexist?
I think the women in the game did help to sell it. But it wasn't because scantily-clad women dance in the game. They helped build the overall image of the game.
What if there was a game with naked guys dancing around? Would women be more willing to buy it? Hell no. Does the fact that guys like naked chicks make 3D Realms "wrong" for putting chicks in Duke 3D? Of course not.
Any woman offended by Duke 3D or Lara Croft needs to loosen up (so to speak). I don't know of one domestic abuse case where the abuse started after the guy got Duke 3D. And even if their was one, it'd mean the guy shouldn't be using computers, and not that the creators of Duke are corrupting gamers.
In other words, any woman offended by either of those games needs a good fuck. Preferably from me.
PMS-Medusa: Well I never thought of it that way..strictly because the nekkid ladies fit into the plot. I mean sure there was a marked absence of a female character as the lead but I enjoyed the fact that if I got tired of the strippers I could frag them. I loved Duke!
PMS-Georgiana: Well...I never considered it sexist...actually...I thought it was fun to gib the strippers and hookers...now if I couldn't gib the bimbos...I might have been disappointed...
* signifies the response was given in person.
|Credits: Illustration © 1998 Mike Sanzone. This article is © 1998 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited...you sexist pig.|