Kitfox Games announced on August 14 that, in an incoming update next week, it will update Boyfriend Dungeon‘s content warning for stalking and emotional manipulation.
As it stands right now, the content warning that appears when you first start a new game in Boyfriend Dungeon says: “This game may include references to unwanted advances, stalking, and other forms of emotional manipulation. Play with care.” After criticism from some players since its release earlier this week, this will be modified.
“The content warning for Boyfriend Dungeon inadequately describes the events of stalking and emotional manipulation that exist in the story,” tweeted developer Kitfox Games on Saturday. “We’ll update the game next week with a more accurate CW. We apologize for any hurt inflicted by our mistake. Thank you for playing!”
The content warning for Boyfriend Dungeon inadequately describes the events of stalking and emotional manipulation that exist in the story. We’ll update the game next week with a more accurate CW. We apologize for any hurt inflicted by our mistake. Thank you for playing!
— Kitfox Games ???? BOYFRIEND DUNGEON OUT NOW (@KitfoxGames) August 14, 2021
Warning: light spoilers for Dungeon Boyfriend to follow.
The content warning is in reference to a storyline with a character named Eric. At the beginning of the game, your cousin sets you up to go on a date with him. Serving as the game’s villain, Eric immediately comes across as rude and unpleasant at the best of times. At the worst of times, he’s an emotionally manipulative stalker. While you can ignore him for some time, Boyfriend Dungeon eventually requires you to engage with him to complete the main story. It’s a game about consent and relationships that tackles those subjects from a variety of angles, including one that has understandably put off some players.
I’m happy to see Kitfox Games changing this content warning to be more accurate. That’s why content warnings exist, after all. Elsewhere, the developers do a fantastic job of providing context for your ability to opt-out of in-game supportive texts from your mother. For some people, games that make you receive those texts or get letters from your mom, like in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, can be painful for a multitude of reasons.
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At the same time, I enjoy seeing them stand by the content in their game. Kitfox Games isn’t forsaking an aspect of the main story that it’s purposely incorporated. Engaging with uncomfortable material in a fictional world can be as unpleasant as it can be complicated and even healing, especially for those who have first-hand experience with that subject matter in the real world. Whether Boyfriend Dungeon’s stalking subplot effectively accomplishes its goals within the grander narrative — and if there was perhaps a better way to reach the same goal — is another matter. Updating the content warning will do what every good content warning aims to do: provide the person on the other end with the tools to decide whether they wish to engage at all.
In our review of Boyfriend Dungeon, Kenneth Shepard says it is, “sweet when it needs to be, silly when it wants to be, and satisfying in the way it brings together dating and dungeons.” However, he feels it’s unfortunate that it abruptly ends just as it’s getting good. Be sure to read his full review, even if just to see the incredible headline.
Boyfriend Dungeon is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Game Pass.