Gearbox President Randy Pitchford says feminist organizations offended by Duke Nukem Forever are welcome to use the game and the man to forward the cause of women's rights.
Duke Nukem as feminist icon? Well, no; the Duke's attitudes toward women, after all, are pretty appalling on just about every level. But if women's rights organizations offended by the game can somehow turn Mr. Nukem's bad behavior to their advantage, the big boss at Gearbox won't mind in the least.
"I'll tell you what, if some feminist organization 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," Pitchford 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," he said. "The people that are entertained... The choices people make are their choices."
Pitchford claimed that Duke isn't actually a bad guy, he's just misunderstood. "His behavior is not misogynistic, he's just hedonistic," he said. He also pointed out that men don't get treated much better in Duke Nukem Forever than the chicks do.
"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," he said. "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."
Duke Nukem Forever comes out on May 3 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.