Early reports reveal the new Duke Nukem Forever game is set to be released with a "Capture the Babe" mode of play. In this disturbing version of "capture the flag" the player is tasked with kidnapping a woman from his enemy's base, throwing her over his shoulder, and carrying her back to his base to share the spoils. If she starts to "freak out," the player is encouraged to slap her on the butt until she shuts up.
To be clear, Duke Nukem Forever makes a game out of physical and sexual violence against women. And Randy Pitchford -- CEO of Gearbox Software which is in charge of the game's release -- thinks that's simply hilarious. He took to Twitter to address reports about the seriousness of the violence in the game, tweeting, "Get it right, folks! In the DNF MP game, "Capture the Babe", Duke can give the girl a love smack on the booty - not face!"
Some may say with statements like that, Mr. Pritchford is courting controversy to boost game sales. Maybe so. But consumers have a right and a responsibility to speak out against a game that contributes to a culture in which one in four American women will become a victim of domestic violence. The Capture the Babe mode of the Duke Nukem game, which will be played primarily by young people, sends the message that physical and sexual violence against women is normal, acceptable, and even funny. It's not - and we have to say so.
If Mr. Pritchford thinks violence against women will boost his bottom line, let's show him otherwise. Walmart is set to be one of the primary sellers of the Duke Nukem game when it is released on June 14th. Tell this family friendly retailer to refuse to sell the Duke Nukem Forever game until the "babe-slapping mode" is removed.