Gladiator Control Simulator Domina has faced a flood of backlash for inflammatory and discouragingly libidinal anti-mask rhetoric. patch notes for its 1.3.18 beta update. “REMOVE THE FCKN MASKS,” he begins, “Next time you’re at the grocery store, try showing a woman your face. Be sure, don’t be afraid of the LIE – you may have a girlfriend. Thanks man, but I usually only come for eggs or another orange juice.
This is not the first time Dolphin Barn has been evaluating users of its… unique alignment in patch notes for Domina. According to 1.2.89 beta update, “There is no count for weak men. Weak men have no character. It is difficult to find strong moral principles. They are earned through hard work and self-sacrifice, and they cannot be obtained only through fans or a porn hub.” It goes on to mention “succubi neat” and “a waste of cargo”, but you get the idea. Digressions like these, offering a keyhole look into the writer’s psyche, are scattered throughout Domina’s official updates.
Classic developer mistake: adding anti-mask rhetoric to patch notes. pic.twitter.com/4evIOv2WeXMarch 12, 2022
Domina previously performed very well in user reviews, but now the reviews have become “extremely negative”. Domina feels like a lovingly crafted game and has impressed us in the past, but turning the patch notes into a platform for spewing outrage at retrograde gender politics and against conventional public health measures has had a predictable impact on its reputation.
However, there is no such thing as bad publicity and Dolphin Barn has definitely turned their game into news. Maybe this is a good preview of the outrageous guerrilla marketing we can expect from video games in the 2020s. For example, I can’t wait.