Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Hail to the King Baby! Duke Nukem and the War on Sexism

One of the gaming industries biggest problems is that it is perceived, rightly so, to be a largely male based industry. There are painfully few prominent female developers and even less female characters. Also many of the industries most famous female characters have spent the majority of their careers being oversexualised. I'm looking at you Lara. To make matters worse the industry as a whole seems very reluctant to attempt to change this image, sure you have strong female characters like Elena (Uncharted) and Tomb Raider has been rebooted and features far less boob but still these two characters are hardly unattractive so the industry clearly still caters to men to some extent and there are still too few female developers.

If the industry won't change this then something needs to be done from inside the industry to show recognition of the problem and embarrass those that cause them. But what can be done?

Bring back Duke Nukem.

Now many of you will think this ridiculous, he is the manifestation of sexism in game form. The thing is, in a reboot of the series (which it desperately needs thanks to the awful Duke: Nukem Forever) Duke could be used as a satirical device. Duke was and still is an awesome character. He is vulgar and cocky and an all round badass, a great action hero, but with the industries identity crisis that isn't a good thing. Indeed many critics of our industry use Duke as an example of all that is wrong with video games. So why not use him against them? Have him in violent games full of foul language, sexism and plenty of his beloved babes but don't do it just to make him a badass, do it to make him a badass and a tool of satire.

If Duke games were self aware in a way that drew attention to the industries issues and then mocked them it could show the world that gamers are aware of the industries flaws and think that they are ridiculous. The industry needs to be seen as willing to change but first it needs to be seen as willing to acknowledge its flaws and what better way to do this than through a video game?

Am I insane? Probably. Would this work? Not necessarily. But would it not be worth a try? At the very least we'd end up with a good new Duke Nukem game. But at most we'd show our critics that we know we're a flawed industry and hopefully it may convince more developers to make the changes that they need to make.

1 comment:

  1. Duchess Nukem just doesn't sound right