Randy Pitchford, Gearbox CEO, told Eurogamer that he is, essentially, hoping that the upcoming release of Duke Nukem Forver attracts feminist critique and backlash. Anyone who’s ever played a Nukem game knows that they’re rude, cruse and over-the-top with jokes and sexism.
Admittedly, when I first read the headline for the story I figured that Pitchford would cite the potential for sales and viral positioning for the game itself if it got feminists all up in arms. The franchise is certainly due for its round of critique, and this would do even more to expose the project to the masses.
Instead, Pitchford hopes that Duke Nukem Forever attracts criticism so that the base problems of society can be recognized and addressed. Duke Nukem Forever, after all, is not Gearbox’s original property. They’re just pushing the game out the door, right? As Pitchford elaborates:
“I’ll tell you what, if some feminist organisation that is doing a great job advocating women’s rights worldwide, which I think is really important, can get some advantage by using Duke… go for it…How is there a downside for humanity? Go for it. Take it. Use Duke. That would be awesome.
Are men pigs or not? I don’t know. I don’t really care. I think people are people. But that’s a joke in culture – men are pigs, haha – so you play with that joke…The fact is there are people in this world who get *** on for no other reason than just their identity, the colour of their skin, where they were born, their gender…and that’s ****ing bull****.”
It’s almost as if Pitchford and Gearbox are hoping Duke gets slaughtered in the name of societal progress. It’s somewhat impressive that the company recognizes the game for its sexist fault, but they’re still pushing it out. On some level, despite what Pitchford suggests, they are perpetuating the problems they label as bull malarkey.
Is this a case of advancement by satire (if genuine, that’s awesome), or are you not buying Pitchford’s intentions?