How could Fox News resist attacking Duke Nukem Forever? After all it’s a game aching to court controversy – for reasons real or imagined. Fox News writers Jeremy A. Kaplan and Patrick Manning get together to take Gearbox to task for the multiplayer mode of the game, "Capture the Babe." They open by describing the multiplayer mode:
"A new videogame that requires you to abduct women and give them a "reassuring slap" if they freak out has gamers and women’s rights-groups crying foul. Brace yourself for the awfully sexist world of Duke Nukem Forever."
Brace yourself for comments from people who know nothing about the game, save the ten minutes of video they found on YouTube:
"It was offensive then and it’s even more offensive now," Jamia Wilson, vice president of the Women’s Media Center, told FoxNews.com. She is referring to the 1996 game from 3DRealms as well. "These depictions of women are extremely harmful, especially to young women," she added.
How are they harmful? She does not elaborate, but I suspect she believes that men will get together to recreate this game in real life. As ludicrous as that sounds, what she really believes based on cursory research of the game is probably far worse: that somehow this kind of in-game activity has some sort of real-world consequence. At least she did not say it causes rape..
OXM describes the mode as more goofy than offensive. As the ESRB points out to Fox News, the game is rated "M" for "Mature."
"This game carries a Mature rating indicating that it’s intended for ages 17 and up, and retailers overwhelmingly enforce their store policies requiring that M-rated games not be sold to a customer under that age without a parent’s consent,” said Eliot Mizrachi, a spokesman for the ESRB.
In the article that appeared in OXM, Gearbox Software’s Randy Pitchford defended the new mode:
"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."
Read the whole article here.