Entitled game journalists are mad that super-inclusive Overwatch isn't as diverse as they’d like
After receiving widespread backlash due to punishing a pro Esports player who expressed solidarity with Hong Kong, Blizzard Entertainment made the predictable move and once again broke glass on emergency diversity PR.
Although this time, instead of retroactively making an in-game Overwatch character gay to deflect criticism, as the company did in 2018, it has introduced a black female to appeal to woke game journalists who lament that the game is not inclusive enough.
Overwatch has a two robots, two cowboys, and a fuckin' hamster before it's added a black woman. It's exhausting to watch fans bend backwards to deny what's literally fact.— Heather Alexandra (@transgamerthink) 8 января 2019 г.
Never woke enough
Yes, Overwatch, an online shooter with Indian, Haitian, autistic, gay, bisexual, black, white, Asian, Egyptian, and Latino characters, and which checks other identity boxes, has been deemed not inclusive enough by today’s media.
Its crime? It doesn’t have a bona fide black female character. Never mind it has other women and men of color - one of which is from Africa - but they aren’t up to par, because they either don’t have ovaries or aren’t dark enough.
#Overwatch could drop her TOMORROW, and I'd still be pissed it took them three fucking years. Like, the disrespect. So many of the characters that came before had NO BEARING on the story, so y'all can stop with that bullshit reasoning. Black women are always an afterthought. https://t.co/VTFbUh6pGq— LL McKinney is (kinda) on hiatus. (@ElleOnWords) 17 апреля 2019 г.
Throughout the past few years, mainstream gaming websites such as Kotaku have raised issue at the lack of a playable black female. Now, with the announcement of Overwatch 2, and a new hero named Sojourn, you’d think they’d finally be happy, but while writing about the sequel they decided to take entitlement to a whole new level.
As Nathan Grayson would write: “...it’s something else to run a game for three and a half years, add numerous heroes to it, and fail to represent a sizable segment of the populace who have asked to be included countless times, only to be sent to the back of the line. One character among a roster of 31 (and counting) is not pandering. That’s the absolute bare minimum of representation.”
Respawn got to a black woman character before Overwatch did in three years— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) 5 февраля 2019 г.
That’s from the same clique of journalists who constantly push the notion of the entitled gamer. I hate to repeat their rhetoric, but the entitled gamer does exist, it’s just the images in their own mirrors and not the faux-demons hiding in their closets.
Misplaced diversity outrage means more fake diversity
While their reaction is not too surprising, what sticks out most is how they are mad at the wrong thing. A strong argument can be made about Blizzard’s diversity being nothing more than a ploy to help market the game to a particular type of person, and as a means to end controversy, as they have a habit of introducing certain elements when they’re being boiled alive in waves of anger. It’s hollow and disingenuous pandering to the nth degree.
I’ve been playing Overwatch since the day it came out. I love the game.— 🍁Imani Gandied Yams🍁 (@AngryBlackLady) 23 июля 2019 г.
But this is irritating. 31 fucking characters and not one of them is a Black woman.
Many in the press however aren’t going that route. Instead, they’re mad that a diverse game is not diverse enough, proving that nothing will ever satisfy them. Which only makes one wonder why companies are even attempting to please them.
Though, I suppose if Overwatch 2 ships out with black and trans characters, the media will give it rave reviews, even if it is a shameless cash grab, as it now currently appears to be. Which must make Blizzard’s constant position on their knees worthwhile.
*whispers* You can love Hammond while also criticizing that Overwatch still doesn't have a playable black woman character— Carli Velocci (@velocciraptor) 28 июня 2018 г.
I just wonder how long they can survive as they leave actual gamers by the wayside to pleasure the loudest critics. Blizzard has been accused of pandering to the authoritarian Chinese government – but modern game journalists seem to have more in common with authoritarianism than they’d like to admit.
By Sophia Narwitz, writer & game journalist from the US.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.