Admitted, in real life, that he didn't buy the latest Fire Emblem game (though not a bad thing IMO, Fates is hardly a game you should feel bad for missing out on) because they took out the face-petting feature
This is a reasonably common sentiment I find. People have been looking at the NA version and got all salty over a bunch of choices. Another one seems to be massive reworking of some supports (going by online discussions, it seems like a conversation between Saizo/Beruka was basically gutted, a massive amount of Soleil's conversations were altered, altering Kanna's support tree...and those were just the consensus hatreds). This is probably why Treehouse got a massive mount of flak after the release.
(Bear in mind, I have not nor have plans to play Fates)
There are entire groups out there upset that this whole thing is a form of "censorship". That the companies know better than we do. And, while it seems kind of silly to me to remove something as asinine as petting in Waifu Wars (oh god, I love that Honest Game Trailer), I don't think the term is correct.
I certainly disagree with the conclusion that it's a key part of the game. It's key in the same way petting your Pokemon is key. It's a fun distraction and side game, but ultimately not key compared to other aspects such as the heavily advertised two-story game.
A fascinating side thought is the notion of Japanese honorifics. You look at the heat Atlas gets for keeping them in the Persona games and how people snark heavily that having them thrown into English conversations makes them sounds awkward as all hell (also, just how they say it can also become a bit of an issue...I would suspect the VAs were given no guide on pronouncing anything...listen to Amanda Winn Lee say Amaterasu and tell me I'm wrong). But then you hop over to Danganronpa games and they get equal amounts of flak for taking them out and claiming that they were replaced with something which makes sense contextually.
But long story short...too many fans to please them all. Half will get angry if you alter something, the other half will get angry if you try to keep it in place.
I just found it interesting to associate the online dudes that piss me off with their stuff with an actual face... I mean, he wasn't a terrible guy or anything from the offset, and if I never knew he liked face-petting we could probably even be friends (not that I had any reason to be, just saying), but it's just like, right, these are real people on the internet and the faces behind those people who get pissed off and rampage when something gets censored are faces such as these.
It's actually quite an interesting dissociation. I mean, we know that every person speaking on the internet technically should be a person (unless their a persona invoked to shill something, but that's another tale). But we don't see them much more than a 2-D character. A stereotype that exists such that our brain doesn't need to fully characterize them or grasp their feelings.
The line between what we view as acceptable and what we view as ridiculous is much blurrier than we'd like to imagine. A terrific example in the USA is your guy's election. Take a look at 3 people (well, maybe 5 if you're in a large city). Heck, take a look at 5 friends. One of them probably voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Or would have if they were interested in voting. Yet you probably tie the side you don't agree with to some extremely ugly thoughts. If you favoured Clinton, you probably see Trump supporters as rednecks or racists. If you favour Trump, you probably see Clinton supporters as tax and spend nutbars who are out of touch with the "reality" of America. But these people are your friends...you probably know them quite well. Seeing the discrepancy between what you imagine and what you see is a terrific experience IMO.