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'Gaming's bullies need to move the f*ck aside'

Insight: Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford slams censorship - and 'Schwarzenegger's law'...

Randy Pitchford doesn't have a problem with ratings bodies.


What he does have a problem with - just like Insomniac chief Ted Price - is the minority trying to control what the majority can experience.

CVG caught up with the Gearbox boss to discuss Duke Nukem Forever, a game Pitchford himself admits "dances on the line of decency".

We asked him if he was worried what the ESRB in the US and BBFC/PEGI in Europe would make of it.

We also asked him his thoughts on a new California bill - backed by Arnold Schwarzenegger - which seeks to give certain games an 'adult' rating; one which would equate them with pornography and almost certainly see retailers drop them from shelves.

He was philosophical on the former. But the latter triggered a fierce diatribe - in turn, informed, passionate, angry and jocular. He told Schwarzenegger et al to "get the f*ck off the bus".

We've printed his comments below, and they're definitely worth a read.

Randy shows himself to be a man who cares deeply about your freedom to play his games - and your freedom to be offended by them:

The thing is, these guys [the ratings boards] have a tough job. Their duty is to help inform customers what they're going to be in for. But as a consequence, there are thresholds, and there's one threshold that retailers won't cross and that's the 'adult' rating. You can't be in that threshold if you hope to reach customers at all.

As a result, there is a line there, but it's a fuzzy line, an unclear line. All entertainment has this problem. Once in a while, pieces of entertainment, pieces of content, come along that push that line a little bit - whoever the body is that's supposed to figure out where it lies.


And when something pushes the line, when it tests the boundaries, it's important. It's important that it happens every once in a while. Because it's our response that tells us where the line should actually be.

If we find that culturally, we're becoming accepting of things, the line actually moves up further. If we react horribly to it, culturally, the line comes back in a little bit.

I think we're in a world now where the line is moving rapidly. We're all in the information age. The idea that you can see an alien queen that has three tits [which you can in Duke], that's no big deal.

I mean on my iPad, right here and now, I have the internet - a window onto infinite porn and violence. It's a magic window onto a horrible world if I choose it to be. 'A window to infinite porn and violence'. Maybe Apple should use that. [Laughs].

Seriously, things like Duke really aren't offending anyone. But some people need to act like they do, for some reason.

We'll see what happens. We're going to be responsible with the ratings bodies, but we're going to push the boundaries. The line can move.

I hate censorship. I don't think the world's ever been held back when we've been free with information. I think it's only got faster and better.

It's weird. In the United States, we can rip off limbs and blow heads apart and that's totally fine. But show a nipple? Man... Oh my God! You're going to hell.

I think if one side has it right, it's probably Europe. "[Sex] is fine. They're just bodies, whatever. That's cool. But, c'mon. Do we have to be so gratuitous with the violence?"

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