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Duke: Pitchford welcomes feminist anger

"Take it. Use Duke. That would be awesome."

They say bad press is good press – but for Duke Nukem Forever creator Gearbox, bad press is awesome press.

Boss Randy Pitchford is perfectly happy with any feminist organisation outcry over the game's chauvinist, womanising star – so much so that he welcomes it.

"I'll tell you what, if some feminist organisation that is doing a great job advocating women's rights worldwide, which I think is really important, can get some advantage by using Duke... go for it," he told Eurogamer. "How is there a downside for humanity? Go for it. Take it. Use Duke. That would be awesome.

"If anyone can better our world through the use of anything, and if Duke is a tool to help them do that, that's fine. The people that are entertained... The choices people make are their choices."

Duke Nukem Forever, set for release this May after years trapped in development hell, sees aliens attempt to turn women into baby making machines and cigarette packs adorned with the word, 'Fags.'

But Pitchford defended the game, originally created by 3D Realms.

"I do know this," he offered; "the game has a lot of wild fun with this, and is at times satirical.

"One of the things that's been brought up to me is that there's just a random cigarette machine and one of the packs says, 'Fags.' What it's doing is it's pointing out when this word used to mean something else.

"But in fact, in our world, because these words have been converted into different words and meanings in different cultures, and because gay rights is a real issue, it is unfair.

"All of us want the same thing in this world – we just want to have a good time, we want to get along, we want to enjoy life and get the most out of it. That's one of the reasons I do what I do – I like to entertain. If I can maybe add a little joy, maybe I've done something worthwhile.

"But the fact is there are people in this world who get s*** on for no other reason than just their identity, the colour of their skin, where they were born, their gender, and that's f***ing bullshit.

"Now, because of the unfairness in the world, sometimes people get... you know, organisations grow up and they become advocates for those issues, and there's some very legitimate and worthwhile organisations that are promoting everything from women's rights to gay rights to racial equality and religious tolerance, which are all really important things for our world.

"Now, sometimes, an organisation that has an agenda and is interested in promoting that, especially when they're legitimate, worthwhile agendas, they need to find ways to get attention and to help people understand the problem.

"Sometimes in entertainment, things that people are already aware of are a great opportunity for them to get attention for it. So things like 'fags'... It's a stupid videogame. They're just jokes, and I think everybody gets it."

Indeed for Pitchford, Duke is misunderstood. "His behaviour is not misogynistic, he's just hedonistic."

And, according to Pitchford, DNF's attitude towards women isn't a one-way street. It takes a dim view of men, too.

"He's the centre of his universe, and everyone in his universe exists to please him, and women offer him different things to men, but he himself is... His whole purpose in existing is to save and protect women – not that they need saving and protecting, but in his world they do, because there's this rare reality of how our species reproduces, and so the aliens are going to use that against us."

He added: "By the way, here's another bit of commentary which is fun – the downside for the men in Duke's universe is that the aliens have the ability to convert men into pigs. So that's where you get the pig cops and the pigs in the game. That's what happens to the males of the species. The males get converted into pigs and the women just get used as breeding factories to make alien babies.

"Are men pigs or not? I don't know. I don't really care. I think people are people. But that's a joke in culture – men are pigs, haha – so you play with that joke."