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"What'd You Say About My Mother??" Dept.:
MailBag for Issue #4
Comments by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman
Every week our associate editor takes on the big ol' pile of mail for your reading enjoyment...got something to say? Send it in. You just might win a swanky loonygames t-shirt. Letters are presented exactly as they are recieved.
Some random flattery....
Subject: Kick Ass!!
Well Hello There!!!
I Think that you guys rock, and you should rule the world. If you guys rules the planet, the inquiring gaming minds, such as mine, would be informed on the latest and greatest news about gaming that there is to know. And thats not the best part! If you guys ruled the world, then you could make a perfect race of super human, computer nerd, Duke Nukem 3D Playing Ass-Woopers!!
Well That is my opinion, and by the way, you guys rock!
Thank you guys alot, Matthew Hesketh
Wow, flattering. I'd be a bit scared if we ruled the world though, as you know, the first thing loony would do is replace baby formula with Guinness. I think we'd end up with a generation of game playing, toy loving, alcoholics. :)
Subject: Issue 4 Cover
I'd just like to say the cover artwork for vol 1, number 4 is probably the most acurate depiction of teenage gaming ever drawn. I'm sure every person reading your magazine has at least one photograph of themselves in that exact same pose. Mine was taken in 1980 playing Space Invaders on my friends Atari 2600.
Love the mag. Keep up the good work.
I didn't even think about that!! But you know, now that I DO think about it, there is a picture floating around somewhere of loony mesmerized by our Atari, playing Tennis, I think, against yours truly. I may have to find that picture next time I'm home and scan it in. Cut myself out of course, nobody needs to see my horrible bowl hair digitized, but loony was soooo ceuuuuteee, I'm sure you'd all love to see his early days as a geek. :)
If only people would read an entire article before bashing it....
Subject: Is Duke Sexist?
I was reading your Is Duke Sexist article and this part caught my attention:
"We're willing to turn the other cheek when we find something fun? Or we just 'don't care' about things like offending women. Or is it as Paul Steed explains, "...it's sexist in an attempt to be humorous, as opposed to being malicious." Is there such thing as humorous sexism?"
First of all, you have to assume you are offending women. I didn't get a chance to read all the responses, but it appears you asked women if they found it sexist and if they liked it. Were they specifically asked if they found THIS sexism offensive? In my opinion, for the sexism in Duke to become a big issue you have to assume it's offensive. As a female I can say yes, Duke is sexist, but at the same time I don't find it offensive. I only find sexism offensive when it's directed at real women. These are pixels, not women. Maybe that's why this issue of the sexism in Duke never did become a big issue.
If it SHOULD be an issue on the grounds that sexism in general is just plain wrong and therefore we shouldn't have sexism in these kinds of games, then we shouldn't have these kinds of games at all. Because, after all, shooting people and deriving pleasure from watching their guts splatter is just plain wrong too. And isn't that what these games are all about? Before you start thinking "yeah, but we're shooting aliens, not people" think about what players do in Duke most of the time. Do you think it's still popular because people are still playing the single player game over and over? I doubt it. I'd imagine it's stayed popular because of the multiplayer feature, in which case we're actually having the most fun when we're blowing the brains out of our best friends! :P
Hrm. Well, the question I asked, was "is Duke 3D sexist?" The stuff I got about people liking Duke was unsolicited, and only helped prove my point more, I think. Beyond that, you're splitting hairs...what is sexism if it doesn't mean something that's offensive to women?
Go and read the entire article (I went over, in detail, the methods I used to get responses in the article)...I think you may have missed a huge chunk of it.
And the winner of the loonygames t-shirt is....where are the MEN stripping??
Subject: The unwise
Paul Steed said:
"Reading through the responses of people you talked to it suddenly occured to me the reason for such polarized opinions on Duke. Uptightness. Yep. Seems to me the people that don't have a problem with Duke seem more secure with themselves and particularly their sexuality. Good thing or bad thing, Classifying an imaginary character as a sexist or non-sexist is pretty damn funny to me."
The same things seem to constantly reappear in Paul Steed's blathering. First, anyone that disagrees with him is labeled myopic. Rather than actually attacking dissenting opinions, which it seems he is incapable of doing, he attacks the dissenters. On that note, he constantly reaffirms the fact that anyone viewing anything as sexist (particularly anything he's doing) is simply sexually oppressed, frustrated, and confused compared to liberated and liberally thinking Paul Steed. How Paul can put out such confused commentary in his planfiles of old concerning men and women, hold a crackwhore competition, do yet another T&A skin/model recently, and still think of himself as a champion of sexual equality is really amazing.
Sex and sexism are two different things, yet Paul doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between the two. It just doesn't seem sexism exists in Paul's world. As a "hetro dude" he finds women sexually attractive. Any depiction of them is the same as any other, the only difference perhaps being how much "prettier and boomin" one is from another. Apparently there is no way to dipict women sexually that is sexist. It's just all the same thing to a normal hetro dude like Paul.
If you read my response to that letter, you probably saw that I disagreed with Paul's comments. As for the Paul vs. Sexism...wait until next week! We'll have here an interview I did with Paul back during the CPL. And let me tell you...the man gets very offended (well, maybe not "offended," I doubt personally offending Paul is possible, but, how about, "worked up") when the concept of him and sexism comes up. And he answers all the 'are you sexist' questions, once and for all. :)
Is Duke sexist? Sure enough. George B says he wanted to depict a seedy furturistic LA, and women in buisness suits didn't fit the bill.So there are female strippers and they are objectified, sure. The problem is, why aren't there any other sexual dipictions? Why no chippendales of the future? No drag clubs? No 'playgirl' magazines laying on the ground next to the 'playboys' scattered around Duke's levels? No porno booths showing anything other than women? Women are objectified, nothing else is. Are there any women in the game portrayed as anything but sextoys? No.
That's about as much of an example as sexism as you're going to find in the gaming world. Does this make Duke a bad game? Not necessarily, but for some immaturity and stupidity go a long way to souring a gaming experience. However, that group of people is a very small part of their market. Their main consuming audience is suburban adolescent "hetro dudes" who aren't (on the whole) terribly open minded or mature. They get off on pixelated cartoonish strippers (or don't mind them), and the game sells to them like hotcakes.
Anyone who's been to the current seedy LA knows there's a lot more there as far as sexual content than women in thong bikini's. If 3drealms had really tried to portray a seedy futuristic LA, it might have been pretty cool, but it wouldn't have sold as well. If the movie theatre is showing gay porn and males are running around in g-strings (alongside the "hetro dude friendly" sexual depictions), sales are going to suffer badly. Herds of pissed off boys are going to be flooding 3drealms with fag jokes about Scott M and George B. Or maybe not, but doing something like that would be taking a huge risk. Why bother? It's much more relaxing to cater to an easy, tride 'n true market and watch the dollars roll in.
My 2 cents
You've got a very good point, and one I honestly never thought about. We live here in NYC, so our Times Square used to be, anyway, quite a red light district of its own. And in addition to the strippers and prostitutes, there were the pimps, gigolos, and drag queens, all out for the same purpose. The male strip clubs, however, hrm, I gotta admit, I haven't a clue where they are. I think Chippendales is on the upper east side somewhere? Some NY ladies e-mail me...we'll take a little research trip...fact finding for loonygames "in search of Chippendales"!!!
Credits: MailBag logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. The MailBag is © 1998 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and not nice.