Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Some LGBTQ+ Overwatch fans aren’t pleased with the game’s Pride content

Overwatch, Blizzard’s hero-focused multiplayer first released back in 2016, has always been a bit of a Marmite situation for LGBTQ+ fans of the game. And it doesn’t seem as though it’s most recent Pride content will change that, either.

Like most video game companies this month, Blizzard wanted to show its appreciation of Pride. It’s easy – and in all honesty, probably the best – to be a little cynical about that. After all, Warner Brothers got into hot water at its attempt to celebrate the event, and Blizzard doesn’t exactly have a good reputation considering how it handled Blitzchung’s support for Hong Kong and how it doesn’t actually believe diversity in its hiring practices matter all that much. That’s not even mentioning the absolutely insane amount of money their CEO rakes in whilst those on the lower rung have to scrape by on pittance. Yeah, Blizzard’s reputation is downright awful, and it’d be ignorant to act otherwise.

So what does that have to do with Overwatch and its Pride content? Well, for some LGBTQ+ fans it’s nothing more than lip service and poor service at that.

On a reddit thread from r/gaymers, a popular thread about Overwatch’s Pride content has sparked a discussion about Blizzard’s silent drop of an Overwatch player icon that was simply titled ‘Rainbow.’ As LGBTQ+ folks, we know that this is commonly used to represent us, and its meaning isn’t lost on most other people either. Still, the titling of ‘Rainbow’ instead of something like ‘Pride’ led to some serious conversations about Overwatch and how it represents the LGBTQ+ community within its game.

Overwatch devs said there was Pride content coming. Today they silently dropped a single rainbow player icon, named “Rainbow”, without even announcing it,” is part of the title of the thread. Discussions also broke out about the handling of diversity and inclusion in Overwatch in the first place. After all, it still doesn’t have a black woman in its game despite coming out in 2016, and, as some argue, the treatment of Tracer and Soldier 76 in comparison to other LGBTQ+ characters from other multiplayer games like Apex Legends Loba and Gibraltar have left much to be desired.

While some are in agreement, others feel that this is too harsh on Blizzard and pointed out that we don’t necessarily know if this is the only thing Overwatch is doing for Pride month. There are still 19 days left, anything could be happening. Besides, it isn’t the only game that’s only added a charm or pendant this month, right?

But perhaps the anger isn’t just because it’s a charm, but the lack of promise from Overwatch on including meaningful representation and inclusivity in spite of fans practically begging for it. Whatever the reason, it still feels as though the game has a long way to go before fully gaining the trust of its LGBTQ+ players.

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