The game is THE CASTLE DOCTRINE. The guy making it is sincere. He believes in the value of lethal force as self-defense but in creating a game to actualize his beliefs he's exposed the ridiculous worldview you need to hold in order to make lethal self-defense viable.
Listen: Imagine a suburb where every house held a family that were helpless without a strong, cunning, murderous Father. The women are helpless. The children are like gold bars sitting in their cribs. Every house contains one of these protective, violent men. When the sun comes up they go to work surrounding their houses with death traps and breaking into the neighbor's house to steal resources. At night they gun down neighbors who set foot on their property.
In order to test his theories the world must be made utterly alien from our world. This is the definition of satire.
Cyberpunks Not Dead — 'The Castle Doctrine' thinks paranoia will ruin you, even if its author doesn't
The Castle Doctrine has been part of a never-ending controversy cycle, and it’s almost entirely because Rohrer has painted it as some ludic version of Death Wish. “When your dog is attacking me and my pregnant wife, the dog has crossed the line, you’ve violated your contract with me," he said in an interview with John Brindle. “At that point all bets are off, that’s it: if I kill your dog to save my family, your dog doesn’t have any grievances with me, because your dog is already in violation of contract. […] The same is true about someone coming into your house. They didn’t have to break open my window!"
Rohrer has been outspoken in both his support of gun rights and about his motivations for making the game. He’s also been, at least in interviews, prickly about criticism that he’s created an entire world where only men can act and women are literally property. There are excellent critiques of this. But if he was really just trying to make a game that would spur people into exploring the necessity of self-defense, The Castle Doctrine was emphatically not that game for me.
The Castle Doctrine is basically a skewering of everything Rohrer has said about his fears and convictions. The whole point of the game is that your self-righteous, family-protecting hero is somebody else’s inhuman nightmare, against whom it is reasonable and even laudable to deploy a rube goldberg machine of dogs, pits, walls, and electric platforms. And, as a logical outgrowth, that this structure ruins everything. It’s not just unproductive, it’s actively counterproductive — you can’t be robbed until you leave, so if you were really trying to protect your safe or family, you’d just stay inside with them. Once you leave, you won’t be safe unless you can steal enough to afford security.
Rohrer has said that he’s uncomfortable with the role of male defender being thrust upon him, and that he means to explore whether a man is “supposed to be a protector" for his family. His statements have always implied that even if he doesn’t like it, men really do need to be protectors and always will be. And though I understand that the game is personal to him, it glances over the fact that who you are and who you attack plays a pretty big part in whether you get to be considered a protector.
But the game itself portrays that sort of (mostly white) masculinity as an amoral arms race, where men brutally kill each other for the privilege of “protecting" women they only end up failing anyways. The absolute best case scenario of The Castle Doctrine is a wife and two children caged in a house full of deadly traps by a man so intent on guarding them that he will destroy their lives and the lives of everyone else on earth to do so.