Game Stop Experience "Come Get Some" Duke Nukem Forever

 Finally caved, and went to game stop yesterday after the one thousandTH “mom please can you take me, please mom…..please, I’ll mow the lawn, I’ll empty the dishwasher, I have a card and you don’t need to spend a dime”  pleads from my oldest and most relentless of sons….sigh.  I hadn’t showered, I had no make up on, and my clothes were stinky.  I eventually said yes, but I wasn’t going to go in.  So off we go, all three boys and I.  We get there and he pleads for me to go in in case he doesn’t have quite enough money.  He said to me “they are all nerds mom, to them, you are a super model.”  Hmmmm….thanks?  Not sure HOW to take that.  But me and my smelly self walked into the store.  Only to see THIS staring back at me AND my three boys:

Now here is where I start the head scratching. Do you see what I see?  If not, I’ll let you in on it.  I see the logo “Come Get Some”.  Now, I wasn’t born in a cave.  I know to which that “some” refers to and it isn’t the big goon’s belt buckle.   Rated M for 17+ for “extreme gore and violence, language, nudity and strong sexual content”.  Forget the fact that they display this big muscle bound, Masculine “savior” to the damsel in distress.  I’m concerned about the damsel herself.  Dressed as a school girl, but clearly older.  And what’s missing from this picture?  The very SOUL of who she is.  Her IDENTITY.  Her FACE.  GONE.  Punched out by a huge hole puncher.  Made to look like nothing but a weak, sexual,  insignificant, nothing who’s face doesn’t matter. She isn’t important enough.  She only fills one role. I had a friend today tell me that he thought it was just the marketing “ploy” on behalf of the advertisers.  Yes, it draws a crowd so people can pop their heads in there and have their picture taken with good ole Duke.  Cuz DUKE is the STAR and she’s not (she IS a character in the game no?).  I don’t buy that.  SORRY. Just don’t.   I’ve researched many subjects on the portrayal of women in the media and magazines.  They are often shown as mere body parts. (and perfect ones of course). Their faces are rarely shown at all.  Sometimes they are looking upward or down, in a submissive and almost distressed way, but rarely directly into the camera.  Looking straight into the lens relays an image of  power.  And women are rarely in that position in the media.   This was is SO blatant I was almost shocked.  Almost.  I will definitely post some of my findings on the media angle in the future.  But for now, I’m simply interested in  this one game and how it came uninvited into my world, and that of my sons.  Much like the sports illustrated swimsuit issue finds itself uninvited into my mailbox.  I like sports.  That’s another blog for another day…

I complained… politely… Upon picking my jaw back up off the floor.  Shane, my 13 year old, became red and embarrassed.  Robbie, my oldest, walked away.  Alex, my 10 year old, stood there staring at it, trying to understand my stance.  Uninvited was this display before us, yet unable to delete it from the memory banks.  The young guy heard me telling my sons what was wrong with this (by the way it was life sized and IN YOUR FACE).  He walked away as if he were scared of me.  ME?  Come on now.  He came back and was very helpful to my sons in helping them pick a challenging game for their age.  And he turned to me and said, “I heard you complaining about the display and I am truly sorry that it is here.”  He went on to tell me that others have been upset as well.  {THANK YOU!} And that he knew it would cause problems, but the advertisers are paying and that’s the way it is.  He told me that the “skater kids” (around 12-16yrs old) often come in just to put there faces in the insignificant girl’s “hole” so they can take pictures and laugh.  Okay, fine.  How can you blame them for that ?  It’s there, in their faces too. Nothing against “skaters” by the way.  My eldest was a great skater boiiiiiiii till he decided one day to grind a dumpster and shattered his elbow, resulting in major surgery.  Brilliant…I know.

I went home and looked up the game on line and had some downloads of the game.  It was so entertaining.  If you’re a PIMP?  Or a pig.  Or a man who has no regard to females at all.  The British creators of this game are women haters.  They don’t put them up on a pedestal for their “beauty”.  They create an arena of helpless, giddy, NAKED (of course with perfect hip to thigh and triple DDD perfection ratios) , imbecile , weak, and sexualized girls and women.  I didn’t see one positive female  role model.  In fact they were all pole dancers.  And naked.  And servicing this moron of a man called Duke.

The main Character, Duke,  (muscle bound macho man) is responsible for saving all the earthling women from being abducted by aliens.  Yeah, apparently the aliens only like the strippers and dingbats.  And the macho man only finds them worthy of being saved…for his own selfish agenda of course.  I mean, if aliens take them, then WHO would give him a lap dance?  In one line, upon realizing the aliens are coming again he says “why do they always take the hot ones?”  Almost every line he says (at least in the trailers), in fact, is sexual in nature. He accepts an award and says “two awards at the same time is almost as good as two chicks.”  He stays at a hotel named “fellatio hotel”.  The three main women characters are : a naughty french maid who “loves to clean Macho man’s penthouse and polish his floors”,  and a girl who has barely a shirt on over her perfect body who “knows how to play rough and talk shop with Duke (aka Macho man), oh then you have Mary and Kate …hot TWINS…no way!!!! How original guys…really…..  “there’s nothing like motor boating with twin inboards” (there is also a huge insinuation that the sisters are also lesbians.  Nice huh)  There is also a marketing add for the game where the “school girl twins” are perched each at one of his feet while he sits tall and proudly smoking a cigar in a chair.  In the game, they are both performing oral sex on him while he plays a video game in the chair.   This is okay?    Really????

I am a red-blooded American, raised by a Marine himself.  I believe in freedom of speech.  I get that an M rating is for “mature” (word used sarcastically and  lightly) audiences and if I hate it then don’t watch it or buy it.  Oh you can count on that.  I won’t buy it.  But I don’t appreciate it being clearly marketed for young boys.  And I don’t appreciate it being in my face when I go into their store.  I was more than offended.  And I also am very well aware that MANY mommies and daddies out there are completely clueless as to what they allow their kids to buy or borrow.  PLEASE open your eyes mom and dad!!!! 

Someone quoted Albert Pike to me today.  “Our moral & mental character is not formed in a moment; it is the habit of our minds; the result of many thoughts, feelings, & efforts”.  She thought that would help me get through this feeling of helplessness I have when trying to raise little boys into gentlemen.    The quote proves my point well, but not in the way my friend intended.  Our moral character isn’t formed in a minute, true.  Neither is the demise of the female.  Boys and girls alike, are slowly and meticulously, being told that women are nothing but objects for a man’s gratification.  That they are insignificant and whores.  Doesn’t happen overnight.  But constant exposure can only do harm.  My son says that this game is just a cartoon.  It shouldn’t matter.  Maybe it doesn’t, if it were the ONLY thing that young girls and boys are exposed to only once.  But it’s not.  Not even close.  Our kids are forced to grow up, be sexual, and mature way beyond their time.  And we allow it by not taking a stand. I want my kids to have a childhood.  Color me naive and rose colored glass wearer and all.  Sue me.  I want young girls to be just that.  Young girls.  Not objects that feel they need to fight for the approval of men/boys.

I asked my boys later that night to be honest with me and tell me if they understood my position at all.  I told them I would understand if they didn’t.   They all said they did.  And they meant it.

Yesterday I made a dent.  And I feel good about it. 

Here’s the link to the game.  Sometimes you just need to see it to believe it.  Denial is a very dangerous.