Ostensibly a sci-fi graphical version of Dwarf Fortress, the developer coded their game’s relationships to be full of incel-y sexist stuff, perhaps accidentally. But then they refused an interview with RPS and instead posted a lengthy non-response on Reddit about how there was no problem. Asking about whether the relationships have been patched will get you shouted down by a community who apparently thinks everything is fine with a game doing this and that you’re an SJW for wanting to know if it’s been updated at all.
Details: There’s apparently no such thing as bisexual men or entirely straight women. Men find women as low as 15 years old attractive, while women prefer older partners (as much as 40 years older than them). There’s no penalty to mood for having to rebuff sexual advances, only a penalty for the one making the advances. Women are 8x less likely to initiate sexual relationships. The list goes on and on. I refuse to support this view of the world, no matter how much I was looking forward to playing the game around those ideas. It is harmful to everyone as well as being inaccurate; it is rooted in deeply sexist ideas about both men and women. It makes me sad that this kind of thing was included in a game that looks really fun and interesting.
If it WAS just a slapped-together set of variables designed to get the game working, that was later patched out, that would be fine. But the developer seems to stand by the idea that there is no problem and also screw you for asking. That’s what I’m not OK with.
I had previously mentioned in my KSP review that simulation games necessarily have to embrace a particular view of “the natural”, that they are inherently political because they make statements about the thing they’re simulating. This is another excellent example of this phenomenon. The fact that the developer of RimWorld cited (questionable) sources to back up his “research on reality” in his Reddit post reinforces my point. I hope that my readers will take my words to heart and not buy this game.
Update: I just discovered that the developer isn’t just interview-shy. They were more than happy to talk to Breitbart, it turns out. I’m not linking it, because I don’t want them to get traffic from me. But it definitely confirms my suspicions about this guy.
Update 2: I posted nearly this same review on Steam, and it was banned for “violating Steam’s terms of service”. Apparently, to borrow a bad faith phrase, they just can’t handle someone disagreeing with them.