Domina, a small game on Steam about managing gladiators, is currently being reviewed bombed by users after the latest patch notes for the game included an unrelated rant about people wearing masks during the pandemic. The message also explains that not wearing a mask will “get you laid” and seems to imply that parts of the ongoing pandemic are “lies.”
Back on March 8, Domina on Steam was updated. The update included some fixes and a bit of new content. But the patch notes for this update also contained a rantslipped right into the middle of it, that demands people “TAKE OFF THE FCKN MASKS” before going off the rails even more than you probably expected.
Here’s the full, completely unedited message as it currently appears in the game’s v1.3.18 patch notes:
“TAKE OFF THE FCKN MASKS – Next time you’re at the grocery store, try showing a woman your face. Be confident, unafraid of the LIES – you might get a girlfriend. Women like confidence. Women do not like dudes who cover their faces in fear. What are you afraid of? Getting laid? Grow up. ”
There’s a lot to unpack there. For starters, it’s not clear what “READ” the writer of this message is talking about. Are they implying masks do not work? Are they suggesting the pandemic is a hoax? It’s not clear. It’s also bizarre how focused this anti-mask rant is on the idea of masks making it hard for men to get laid. And ending with “Grow up” is just the cherry on top of this strange shit sundae.
Kotaku has reached out to Valve about the message in the patch notes and has also asked the devs behind Domina to explain what “lies” they implied in the note.
Since posting the update a few days ago, Domina has been hit with hundreds of negative Steam reviews. The game currently sports an “Overwhelmingly Negative” review status, a sharp decline from the previously held status of “Very Positive.”
As one Steam reviewer explained in their negative review of the game this whole situation is just embarrassing and sad.
“Anti-mask devs using their patch notes as a glorified Twitter feed. Embarrassing. ”
Following the backlash and ongoing review bombing, the game’s official Twitter account has been trying to, as the kids say, tweet through it.
Recent tweets have mentioned the “woke mob” and “cancel culture” while also announcing that the anti-mask rant featured in the patch notes is simply the studio suggesting folks be more courageous.
As spotted by PC Gamer, things get even sadder when you start looking through past update notes for the game. It becomes clear that someone working on this game — or at least in control of its Steam account—is filled with bad takes. For example, an earlier update included patch notes that ranted about people watching too much porn.