An interesting bit of news came out today regarding a previously unannounced multi-player mode for the upcoming (and long awaited) Duke Nukem Forever. It would appear that the developers have taken a new spin on the classic "capture the flag" and replaced it with "capture the babe".
Players will run around and attempt to capture a woman who "will sometimes freak out while you’re carrying her (somewhat understandable we’d say) at which point you have to hit a button to gently give her a reassuring slap.”
That didn't go over too well.
So the game's PR reps clarified toady that Duke wouldn't be slapping the women in the face. Oh, good. Rather, he'd be hitting them in the ass to get them to calm down, presumably as they're being carried over his shoulder. Now, when I first read this I literally rolled my eyes and said a few choice words outloud. Then I remembered what game I was reading about:
If any game on the face of this earth could get away with something like this, it's Duke Nukem. I've never played any of the games in the series but I know enough about the franchise to understand it was originally created as a satire to the action movie heros of the late 80s and early 90s. I also think it's incredibly obvious that it remains a gargantuan parody of hyper masculinity and machoism. Whether it's effective or not (read stupid) is a matter of personal opinion.
Does that make this any less in poor taste? No, not really.
To be honest, I'm really not sure how I feel about this. It reminded me of the Bioshock 2 multi-player "capture the sister" mode where you ran around trying to grab screaming little girls. More specifically, I remember thinking that it was funny but that an outsider would probably think I was playing a seriously sick and demented game.
Is that applicable with our buddy, Duke? Did the developers cross a line or is it all the name of parody? Just because a game like this can get away with it, should it?