Space simulation game Kerbal Space Program becomes the latest video game to get review bombed on Steam. Chinese players on the PC gaming platform have taken to the game’s reviews section to voice their outrage over a recent change to make the game more inclusive.
Kerbal Space Program is one of the several games to be review bombed on Steam, even after Steam platform-holder Valve made changes in an effort to tackle the issue.
Here’s Why Kerbal Space Program is Being Review Bombed
Back in June, a thread on the game’s Steam forums highlight a space shuttle in the background of the Kerbal Space Program menu. The shuttle has the Chinese phrase “不到mun非好汉” written on the side of it, which translates to “without reaching Mun you are not a good male”.
The forum poster said that the use of the phrase was sexist as there are female Kerbal Space Program players too, calling upon developer Squad to change it. And Squad has since changed this particular phrase, but it hasn’t gone down well with some of the game’s Chinese players.
The Kerbal Space Program review bombers argue that the characters “好汉” are actually gender neutral anyway. Meaning “brave and strong hero,” explains one review, the phrase has traditionally been used to describe both men and women. That particular reviewer also argues that the game’s phrase is a reference to “不到长城非好汉”, a famous saying that means “you’re not a true man if you never got to the Great Wall”.
The new, negative Kerbal Space Program reviews call developer Squad out for being ‘politically correct’ and for bowing to pressure. But no one was threatening the developer and no one forced its hand – it chose to change the text to be more inclusive.
Just like when Blizzard changed Tracer’s ‘cheesecake’ pose in Overwatch, it seems that Squad may not have realised that its phrase could be read as sexist or even exclusive to female players and so it opted to change that text of its own volition. Kerbal Space Program does include female astronauts, too, and so Squad may have just changed the text to be more accurate of the game’s content.
Kerbal Space Program does have an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ review status (though its recent reviews are listed as ‘mixed’) and so it’s less affected than most games would be. But it’s unclear whether this is enough to shield the game from losing sales based on snap judgments after seeing that ‘mixed’ review status and whether this will prompt Valve to take another look at how the Steam review system works.
Like this post? Like J Station X on Facebook.