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Balls of iron(y): Duke Nukem voice actor dislikes violence, guns

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When unloading a shotgunful of death or crushing a shrunken Pig Cop alien beneath your manly boots in Duke Nukem, you can always expect to hear a clever follow-up—quips that defined one of classic PC gaming's most memorable characters. Jon St. John, owner of the deep baritone fueling Duke's wisecracks, has reprised his role in a franchise spanning nearly 15 games, but he doesn't necessarily share Duke's pleasure of slugging bullets into warm bodies. In fact, during the latest episode of the Unlimited Hyperbole (opens in new tab) podcast (via PCGamesN (opens in new tab) ), he revealed his aversion to guns and the violence they promote, saying, "I don't care for guns in general."

"It bothers me how free we are to bear arms," he continued. "They say 'Guns don't kill people, people kill people.' Well, no, I think people with guns kill people. Quite frankly, I'd like to see stronger gun laws in this country. Hell, I don't even like hunting. I don't like people out there shooting deer or elk or whatever unless they're doing it to survive. If they're using every part of the animal in some way, then great, but I'm disturbed if they're killing it just to kill."

St. John, who established himself as a voice actor of great flexibility by assuming roles in such games as Half-Life: Opposing Force, Clive Barker's Undying, and Heroes of Newerth also stated "gratuitously violent" games such as Grand Theft Auto aren't his jam, preferring instead flying, racing, or driving experiences. Of course, he also recognized the glaring contrast between his personal stances and the testosterone-fueled gib-generator he voices.

"I've been connected to Duke for so long," he said. "And even though I'm on 150, 160 odd games in all, Duke Nukem is the one character who really made me famous in the industry. A few times at conventions I've had guys come up to me and say, 'Man, you're so badass,' but I'm really not. That's why I hesitated when you asked me about guns. I don't want to disappoint fans."

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?