When players made their avatars laugh, talk or give the “OK” sign in “Lost Ark,” they clicked an icon featuring a gesture that might have appeared benign to many: an index finger nearly touching a thumb.
But some of “Lost Ark’s” users began claiming in August that the gesture was a sexist insult against men, and they demanded its removal.
Smilegate — the creator of “Lost Ark” and one of South Korea’s biggest video game developers — quickly complied with the requests for removal. The company removed the icon from the game, and vowed to be more vigilant about policing “game-unrelated controversies” in their products.
Now, though, the latest development in this war is reaching a fever pitch. Since May, more than 20 brands and government organizations have removed what some…