The Dolphin Barn Controversy and their game Domina

Back in 2018, when I started my first-ever blog, I wanted to review games that are great and often overlooked. On May 14th, 2018, I did review a game called “Domina” which is a bit of a Management game where you train gladiators to win a tournament at the end of the year. It is fun and brutal. The soundtrack is amazing. It’s a great game. I originally thought that I did publish the English version of that review on Indiecator already but it seems that I didn’t do that… and that’s good. Because the developer of that game is someone I don’t want to support based on their stance on masks, amidst a global pandemic.

Dolphin Barn Incorporated is the developer behind this amazing game and frankly, I’d love to support it but the issue here lies that separating art from artists is incredibly difficult when this person makes it so easy to dislike them. In their recent patch notes of the game, they declared that you should “take off the fucking masks”, followed by some bullshit about women liking confidence and wearing a mask is apparently childish?

All of this could just be an incredibly stupid “joke” (one that may cost lives…) but after doubling down, you can basically tell what kind of person the dev in question is. Doubling down on their shitty take by describing it as “suggesting courage” and then claiming that it’s “cancel culture” and not just people disliking his anti-mask sentiment after the last few years that we all won’t get back from our lives.

Amidst a global pandemic that claimed the lives of 6,04 million people, not wearing a mask isn’t “courageous”. It’s stupid. Wearing a mask may protect the people around you. If you have it and you don’t know it, it may stop it from spreading from your mouth to that person that is sitting next to you on the bus. It may stop that person from spreading it to someone else. It may stop that person from getting long covid or them dying themselves.

What the developer of “Domina” calls “courage” is actually just stupidity and lack of empathy. Thinking about others and showing consideration is not the same as “cowering in fear”. But then again, the developer doesn’t care about that because why would they care about other people if they can just go into a grocery store and get laid by someone that probably is very attracted to them and didn’t reject them for not wearing a mask.

Courage is when you’re actually standing for something and not just constantly being against others. Having the courage to voice your opinion is great but not being able to take criticism aimed at you shows just how great of a person you are. It’s not even as if they made a statement that they take pride in. No. Domina released in 2017, got barely any patches or updates in recent years, and the dev just randomly decided to add a statement like this not at the beginning or end of their patch notes but right in the middle where it may get overlooked. Hardly anyone cares about the patch notes of a game that is barely getting any patches to begin with. Hardly anyone cares about patch notes, to be fair. The dev wasn’t brave enough to share their opinion on Twitter where people would actually see it. No, they went to the patch notes because of how courageous they are. Yup.

I mentioned it before but “freedom of speech” doesn’t equal “freedom of consequences” and frankly, anyone can say whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm others. If you get political with shit and (for instance) support the anti-trans laws, then you can very much voice your opinion but people won’t just stay quiet about it. They’ll voice their opinions as well, either agreeing or disagreeing with you. If you don’t disable replies, they’ll reply to you because they want to make use of their freedom of speech… and especially as a game developer, you should know that review bombing is a thing. It’s not about “cancelling” someone but rather about telling people that they may not want to support someone like this because of this specific thing they said. People can still make the choice of buying this game. Again, it’s a good game. The dev behind it just sucks. And apparently, they confuse criticism for “cancel culture” because as always the only people using clown emojis and the only people complaining about “woke people” and “cancel culture” are the ones that are anti-everything and that have nothing meaningful to say.

But then again, I don’t want to dunk too hard on someone who’s a huge sexist and on top of that doesn’t care about others but still likes to preach. I’ll publish a review on the game soon. I already have it written up, actually, and I just need to translate it into English, given that it’s a review from my school days. I’ll add a huge addendum at the beginning of it that I won’t recommend buying the game but I will talk about why the game is great while the developer isn’t. And then I’ll let you decide whether you want to support it or not. Frankly, I was about to change my positive review to a negative review but I seem to not have published my review at all, so far, luckily.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well. If you find this post on a website other than, please write an e-mail to me. Thank you!

8 thoughts on “The Dolphin Barn Controversy and their game Domina

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    1. Glad you liked it. :) I originally planned on getting into more stuff like the dev’s misogyny and sexism as well as other weird stuff they put into patch notes but frankly, I don’t have the spoons for that and the anti-mask stuff is the stupidest of it all, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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