But while The Guardian might celebrate the passing of this semi-ironic figure of fun, I can’t help but shed a tear at the demise of the steroid-addicted action man.
Like DCI Gene Hunt, the unreconstructed cop off BBC1’s Ashes to Ashes, Duke Nukem was a welcome counterweight to the self-aware, image-conscious uncertainty of our times. And, like Hunt, he also had a great supply of one-liners not least: “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I’m all out of gum.”
Game characters are getting ever more complex and rounded. And, as Grand Theft Auto IV’s haunted anti-hero Nico Bellic confirms, this is often for the better.
But in an era when even the square-jawed meatheads of Gears of War have “issues”, it was nice to know there was at least one game hero who stood for nothing more than dumbed-down, trigger-happy fun.