Tracer is one of many characters featured in Blizzard's new game, "Overwatch." The beta for this arena shooter comes out May 5, this Thursday, and I could not be more excited. However, with the release of any game comes the explosion of online complaints of political correctness and controversy. In this case — Tracer's pose.
Many have already seen this widespread internet debate and the response from Blizzard, so I won't spend too much time explaining what went down. But if this is news to you, here's what happened.
Images of Tracer's stance circulated the Internet causing backlash and controversy towards Blizzard creators. This is what her original stance looked like:
After complaints of this character being overly sexualized by her stance, Blizzard responded with an apology and the promise of a new pose. When the pose was revealed, many were still upset and called this "Blizzard's middle finger to its consumers."
In my opinion, this was Blizzard standing their ground. They took criticism from others and turned Tracer's old stance into something that fit her personality and background even better. Tracer is a fun, quirky, and fit young lady. There are people in the world that can relate to Tracer's personality.
Tracer is not the only character in this game to have had an "over the shoulder stance". In fact, Blizzard didn't use this stance just for the female characters. However, it was seen as overly sexualized because she wears form fitting pants and you can see the outline of her butt? Here's my question - how is this any different from females wearing yoga pants or leggings in public? A lot of sporty and quirky females do look and dress similar to this in real life.
Let's move on from this widespread controversy and look at what really matters. Diversity in video games . Essentially, video games are an art form. Music, art, books - these all have diverse representation within their subjects. Why are video games looked at differently? People create these games, from the story to the artwork to the movement of the game. So shouldn't the creators have the right to decide what to do with their characters?
I understand the need for diversity in games in order for consumers to feel connected and represented in games that they enjoy playing. And Blizzard understands that too! As a female gamer, it's hard to play games where females are a trophy, only good for sex, or unintelligent. However, it's important to recognize that game developers are changing this. There are plenty of games out there that represent females in a positive way.
Blizzard has done an incredible job including very diverse characters in this new game. Here are some examples.
It's perfectly fine to be passionate and stand up for what you believe in. But would you approach a musician or artist about a song or portrait and coerce them into changing it because it misrepresents you? Try to look at video games as an art piece that someone else created for you to enjoy! Keep in mind the positive aspects of the video game industry and how far we have come in representation of diverse characters.