Domina, a small indie game on Steam about managing gladiators has recently begun trending online, but not because it’s a really good game or it just got a cool update or anything like that. No, instead, the developer behind the game has included a wild and shitty rant about trans political commentator and streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti inside the patch notes for Domina’s latest update. And weirdly, this isn’t the first time this developer has shoved bizarre and awful political rants into the patch notes for Domina.
Update, 9/2/2, 10:55 a.m. ET: According to SteamDB, about 15 hours ago, Domina and all its DLC were yanked from Steam. The dev behind the game confirmed on Gab, the alt-right Twitter for the worst people in the world, that Valve had pulled the game. In a screenshot shared on the social media site, the dev shared a message from Valve support stating that because of the attacks and insults contained in his last post in the game’s community hub, Valve was taking action. It is ending its “business relationship” with Domina’s developer and all of his games have been removed.
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To recap: On August 5, Sorrenti was the target of a swatting attack that led to London, Ontario police wrongfully arresting her, and repeatedly using her deadname while sticking a rifle in her face. After describing the attack in a YouTube video a few days later, Sorrenti and her fiancé relocated to a hotel that was thought to be safe. But members of the violently transphobic hate-speech forum Kiwi Farms have continued stalking and harassing Sorrenti as she fought back and tried to force server hosting and security company Cloudflare to stop supporting the site and its dangerous users.
The pressure to drop the forum continues as of this writing, with Cloudflare recently stating that it had no plans to drop KiwiFarms, with the company’s CEO stating in an August 31 blog that “Just as the telephone company doesn’t terminate your line if you say awful, racist, bigoted things, we have concluded in consultation with politicians, policy makers, and experts that turning off security services because we think what you publish is despicable is the wrong policy.”
For some reason, the dev behind the unrelated Steam game Domina decided to share their thoughts and shitty opinions on Sorrenti, trans people, and more in a totally unrelated video game. In the patch notes for the August 31 update to the game, the developer included an unhinged and barely cohesive rant claiming that the name of the game was being changed and referring to the old name as its deadname over and over. We are pointing it out here less because it deserves any attention at all, and more because it is absurd that such a thing can be uploaded to an official, professional storefront.
Here’s the full rant as shared in Domina’s patch notes for its 1.3.25 update, but a heads up that the text below includes some nasty, anti-trans bullshit:
deadname: domina. Please don’t mention it any more. We only mention it here to say: don’t mention it any more. It’s totally normal to change the sex of a video game and NOT CONFUSING TO ANYBODY. Please do not be a bigot. If you are confused, please simply stop being confused and remember that DOMINA doesn’t exist and never did, but DOMINUS does exist, and always has, you just didn’t know you were playing a man, who was dressed as a woman, but now that we reveal it to you, you have NO RIGHT to feel deceived, the same way the poor drunk dudes who transvestites like Keffals had sexual intercourse with, without disclosing that they were a man, have no right to feel wronged and you’re a bigot for being confused or even mentioning something like that happening, let alone having an opinion about it.
This alone is bad, but what’s wild here is that this isn’t the first or even the second time that this developer has used Steam patch notes to share out-of-control rants about various political topics.
Earlier this year, the developer got angry at people wearing masks to avoid covid-19, writing in a previous update’s patch notes that people who wear masks won’t get girlfriends and that women prefer men who are confident. The dev also asked what people wearing masks were “afraid of” and ended by suggesting they are actually afraid of “getting laid.” Before this, the dev also complained in patch notes for Domina that people watch too much porn.
It’s odd that after all these examples of the developer using the patch notes for disgusting and bizarre rants that Valve has seemingly done… nothing at all, at least on the most public front. In a way, it makes sense, as the company has historically avoided having to actually do anything when it comes to running its megapopular Steam PC game service. Most of the features built into the service are run and managed by the community, with Valve taking a mostly hands-off approach.
But it seems like this is a clear example of someone abusing Steam’s patch notes to harass and attack another person by name and seems like a thing Valve might want to stop. Valve did however recently ban developer Dolphin Barn Incorporated from its own Steam forums following abusive and toxic posts. (This of course led to another shitty rant using Domina’s Steam page.)
Kotaku has reached out to Valve about the rants but didn’t hear back from the company before publication. When contacted about the rant and asked why they decided to use their game’s patch notes on Steam to comment about Keffals, the developer instead complained about Twitter suspending their account and continued to attack Sorrenti.
“I lost my verified Twitter account on which I used my real name,” explained the dev, “While ‘Keffals’ is now verified, using a fake name, while ‘in hiding’ after having faked crying [sic] on national TV and admitting they had sexual relations with men, without telling them they were also born a man.”
As for Sorrenti, she seems mostly confused and exhausted by the patch notes. Earlier today, she shared them on Twitter and asked the developer to keep her out of his “midlife crisis.”
“Can I please go one day without the weirdest fucking creeps on the internet projecting their insecurities into me?” asked Sorrenti on Twitter in a follow-up tweet. “Bro, I’m just vibing over here.”