February 8, 2011

Rants of a Gamer Girl: Welcome To Titty City

Filed under: Gaming,Media — Tags: , , , — Rachel @ 7:01 pm


The above images are from the press event for “Duke Nukem Forever” and appear on the
official Facebook page and blog of 2k Games.

Yesterday, a press event was held in Las Vegas for the newest installment in the Duke Nukem video game series. The developers invited the press to learn more about the game, and play a demo of the upcoming release.  The game has been in development off-and-on for over ten years, finally being completed by Gearbox Software.

Now, Duke Nukem is certainly not a series that is known for it’s positive portrayals of women, or high-brow comedy.  However, they brought the 3-D objectification of women in their games into the real world, by holding the event in a temporarily renovated strip club.  (Most developers hold press events in hotel conference rooms or large offices.)  The signage outside the strip club was replaced to advertise “Duke Nukem’s Titty City.”  Arrows pointed men and women in different directions, and the demo screens were set up around stripper poles on small tables.  President of Gearbox, and former employee of 3D Realms (the original Duke Nukem company), Randy Pitchford, took to the main stripper stage to make the announcements.

Rather than focus on the first-person shooter gameplay, or the game’s lengthy development process, Gearbox instead decided to focus on the sexist environment they’ve created, and to make it their main selling point.  Women were hired to parade around in tiny outfits to bring drinks and snacks to the press.  Gearbox and 2k games updated their twitter feeds throughout the event, and posted pictures on the official blog, like outlines of topless women painted in neon colors, or “Hail To The King” posters with women depicted as submissive sex objects.

Female game journalists had to watch and listen to the exclusive announcements being made, in a building called “Titty City.”  (And women were there, they can be seen in the pictures posted from the event.)  To anyone who insists there isn’t sexism in the gaming industry, that everyone’s a big happy family, that gender doesn’t make any difference, I’d really like to hear their take on this event.  Because to hold a press event in a building where women are objectified, every. single. day. is to ignore the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of every female gamer, journalist, and  employee in the industry.  It’s these attitudes and behaviors that are so pervasive throughout the entire industry, that cause websites like Fat, Ugly, or Slutty to exist.



8 Comments »

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melanie Klein, Rachel O. Rachel O said: Rants of a Gamer Girl: Welcome To Titty City (stay classy Gearbox software!) http://bit.ly/hQKhCP [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Feminist Fatale » Rants of a Gamer Girl: Welcome To Titty City -- Topsy.com — February 8, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  2. wow, i quite liked duke nuken despite sexism, but to base the whole game around it? thats crap

    Comment by anch0red — February 14, 2011 @ 6:13 am

  3. “Because to hold a press event in a building where women are objectified, every. single. day. is to ignore the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of every female gamer, journalist, and employee in the industry.”

    Except for the ones who don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with strip clubs, but they don’t count right?

    Comment by Slothy — February 22, 2011 @ 10:30 pm

  4. “Except for the ones who don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with strip clubs, but they don’t count right?”

    Nice straw-man argument. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with strip clubs or strippers, but I still think this was an insensitive-asshat move on the Duke Nukem folks’ part, because I’m sure there were plenty of women who really felt uncomfortable there.

    It’s not like the _only_ place they could meet was in a strip club. Their having it there shows that those women who were/are uncomfortable with this, don’t count.

    Comment by Artemis — March 24, 2011 @ 1:50 am

  5. u mad?

    Comment by jayman — March 30, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  6. A stupid argument simply because Duke Nukem is all about sexism and low-brow, misogynistic comedy.

    Oh, and gearbox didn’t create the sexist environment in DNF.
    That was there 12 years ago when 3D Realms put it into place… you’re a ‘gamer girl’? You should know that.

    Really, this is just pointless moaning for the sake of moaning. If you don’t want to play a game full of sexism then don’t play Duke Nukem. If you don’t like sexism, don’t even read about Duke Nukem because it’s all about it.

    Gearbox wanted to promote a game that has been 14 years in the making. They promote it the best way possible, stay true to the franchise and have it in a place called titty city. Duke’s Titty City to be exact.

    Comment by Chris — June 13, 2011 @ 6:25 am

  7. This event was marketing genius. If you play Duke nukem you obviously don’t have a problem with strippers. Most people that do have a problem with it have probably never even had a conversation with anybody in the business nor been to a club. Girls or guys that strip are no different than anybody else, they have feelings and insecurities just like the soccer moms of the world.

    Comment by Jonathan — September 24, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

  8. Oh come on.. it’s a duke nukem game. He’s a crude, rough around the edges, manly man. That’s his schtick, it has been for like 15 years. If they didn’t include this type of stuff, it would be an insult to the original. Just because this particular franchise is purposefully sexual and apparently offensive to women doesn’t mean the gaming industry is. Complaining about sexism in duke nukem is like complaining about violence in a slasher flick and claiming that the movie industry is too violent. If you don’t want violence, don’t watch an R rated horror movie. If you don’t want sexism, avoid duke nukem games. Don’t rain on everyone else’s parade because it offends you.

    Comment by Mikem — February 21, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

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