A pose for a character in Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming game “Overwatch” is being banned for overt sexuality in the eyes of some.
The character, Tracer, is one of the featured playable characters in the multiplayer game soon to be released from the creators of World of Warcraft.
But the image released of Tracer looking over her shoulder represented unnecessary sexualization of an already popular character according to some.
A fan posted about the issue on Blizzard’s message boards:
WHAT? What about this pose has anything to do with the character you’re building in tracer? It’s not fun, its not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast elite killer. It just reduces tracer to another bland female sex symbol.
We aren’t looking at a widowmaker pose here, this isn’t a character who is in part defined by flaunting her sexuality. This pose says to the player base, oh we’ve got all these cool diverse characters, but at any moment we are willing to reduce them to sex symbols to help boost our investment game.
I have a young daughter that everyday when I wake up wants to watch the recall trailer again. She knows who tracer is, and as she grows up, she can grow up alongside these characters.
Some people responding to the complaint completely disagreed with that take. They wrote, “Artistic freedom is the extent of freedom of an artist to produce art to his/her own insight,” and “Was trying to think of a young strong female role model in real life, that has not done a butt photo. Most have.”
Others agreed, noting, “The first time I saw that pose after a game it completely took me out of it. It was jarring. It didn’t fit the character that has been established at all and seemed very out of place.”
Jeff Kaplan, the Game Director for Blizzard’s Overwatch, posted a message saying the company agreed with the complaint, and that the pose would be removed.
We’ll replace the pose. We want *everyone* to feel strong and heroic in our community. The last thing we want to do is make someone feel uncomfortable, under-appreciated or misrepresented.
Apologies and we’ll continue to try to do better.
In response, several fans of the game on the discussion site Reddit have begun soliciting signatures for a petition asking Blizzard to keep the pose in the game.