Three years, it took three long years for players and fans to understand that they had been using hidden ‘offensive’ hand gestures in one of South Korea‘s most popular multiplayer games.
According to CNN, ‘Lost Ark,’ one of the country’s most loved online games, allows players to make their avatars laugh, talk and make signs using some hand gestures and users have recently discovered that the game includes a sign they find insulting and sexist towards men: an index finger nearly touching a thumb.
Following the objections, Smilegate, the creator of “Lost Ark” and one of South Korea’s biggest video game developers, removed the controversial sign from their platform and vowed to be more vigilant about policing “game-unrelated controversies” in their products.
However, the uproar that started in August when a section of players raising demands for a ban on the gesture from the copy took an opposite turn and aggravated the already disturbed gender war.
The movement resulted in a trend among South Korean anti-feminists, who have constantly targeting corporations and banners for promoting feminism, something that they see as a conspiracy within the government and private companies against them.
This development has led to more than 20 brands and government organisations removing what is largely perceived as feminist symbols from their products and brands due to building pressure since May 20. At least 12 of those brands or organisations have issued an apology to placate male customers.
This far deranged gender war in South Korea can be well understood by looking at some numbers. Hankook Research, a marketing and research firm in the country said it found that more than 77% of men in their twenties and more than 73% of men in their 30s were “repulsed by feminists or feminism,” according to a survey. (The firm surveyed 3,000 adults, half of whom were men.), CNN reported.
Now, the fact that even big-time corporations are giving in to these pressures and opting to modify their products suggests that the anti-feminists are dominating influence in South Korea, a country that is already struggling with problematic gender issues.