Sex and Violence? – Ask the Duke

**Also posted on :Game/States:**

With the pending release of the much delayed Duke Nukem Forever, we find ourselves at another one of those highly frequented intersections of video games and society, that of sex and violence. Duke Nukem is once again following the same old premise; aliens have come to take our women and impregnate them. Only the Duke can save them.

While it’s important not to take this Bruce Willis-esque raunchy action hero too seriously, to blindly pass by the rampant nudity, strip clubs and general portrayal of women primarily as sex objects would be foolish. Sure, it’s a mature rated game, but anyone who thinks kids never play games beyond their age class needs to only ask my eight-year old self what he thought of atom bomb scene in Terminator 2.


Linda Hamilton in her premonition of the 1999 bombing of LA. You best believe that s#!t gave me nightmares.

It would also be nice to think that adults, at least the mature ones, can separate fiction from reality, and not let the worlds they play in bleed into the ones they live in. This too is too important to be taken for granted. So what exactly do we need to examine in the Duke’s libatious behaviour?

  • Strip Clubs
  • Substance Abuse
  • Nuditiy
  • Unrealistic female forms
  • Unrealistic male forms
  • Hypersexuality

It’s a game. It’s a funny game. It’s meant for adults. But why is it okay for adults and not children? Precisely because they are (supposedly) able to separate fiction from reality and to discuss it in an abstract way. In other words, because adults will engage in debate exactly like we are here. So, having justified the whole existence of my post, I’ll go on just a wee bit more.
I think a lot of us could see the problem of a young child without any sexual experiences to draw upon having their perception skewed by the Duke. What about a less than mature adult, one who doesn’t have an optimal repertoire of real experiences themselves? What about this phenomenon in a world where ‘virtual’ sex (pornography, and increasingly sex orioented video games) is increasingly easier to access? Isn’t it conceivable that as ‘virtual’ sex becomes more interactive and high-res, ‘real’ sex will become less attractive to some people who haven’t had ideal successes with it? This is another one of those ever popular video-game debates, the ‘introversion’ problem.
Escapist magazine, couldn’t find the YouTube equivalent to easily embed so had to do it the good ol’ fashioned way! (no pun intended): Sex in Video Games – Extra Credit
Not so good, but quick and informative for neophytes: 2Bit Gaming – Sex and Video Games (i.e your parents or anyone over 40)
Brenda Brathwaite (Blog) – Author of Sex in Video Games – (let me know if you see an affordable paperback edition anywhere).
And a much earlier edit of the Extra Credit Video


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