“Mind If I Take Off My Pants?” – The Duke, 2011

And also more Duke! This little gem caused quite a stir over in the good ol’ U.S. of A, with instant shouts of misogyny in response to the video’s blatant sex-appeal. There was even an early clamour for DNF to be banned. (Don’t they realise how long we’ve waited for this sucker?!) Of course, Gearbox were unfazed – effectively responding with a Duke-style two fingers (and probably a gravelly-voiced comment to boot.) They did also have a slightly more philosophical response too – suggesting Duke is a self-centred egomaniac to whom the whole world is a hedonistic plaything, hence they’re projecting, and examining, his own personality failings into the game by showing how he surrounds himself with women, and how he treats them.

Ahem. Nice try, mammary-fans. But I suspect another motive…

Boobs. Because if you’re a game developer locked in some underground sweat-shack, churning out code rather than putting your C+ style moves on the ladykind, you’ve gotta have a release. And oh mama, do they release in DNF!

Still, there is some substance to the ‘Box’s claims to artistic merit. After all, to take one example of a similarly thoughtful bent, in Dostoevsky’s seminal examination of the fragile killer’s mind in Crime and Punishment, we’re not spared the brutality of the landlady being hacked amidst the cranium with a brutal Russian axe. Oh no, no, no – when Raskolnikov is manifesting, Fyodor makes us watch. And if our favourite Ruski author were tapping out his thoughts into a game today rather than crusty old parchment back in the 1800s? Why, I think we’d be somewhere in Bulletstorm territory…

So cut the Duke some slack. He’s a modern classic (just a very, very badly behaved one).

Now, where are my Kleenex?

UPDATE: And here’s a lovely behind-the-scenes vid with the dev team. A little bit Duke history, and the devs admitting it’s childish – lovely stuff!

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