Tidy Up #86

More notices that wouldn’t make up individual posts, but are worth sharing wholesale here!

We’re sorry to inform our alleged readers that the previous Tidy Up Tuesday post requires to come in with basic reading comprehension. As does the entirety of our blog. Keep that in mind next time before responding.

We were sad to learn that not just Battleborn, but every other game we mentioned as a positive in our last throwback, is either dead (Gigantic), discontinued from further development (Dirty Bomb) or practically dead due to near-zero player engagement (Battleborn). 

Makes it even worse that the only successful diverse mainstream hero shooter multiplayer out there is Overwatch, which seems to have concluded that they already met their melanin and body type variety quota

Overwatch fans, please push Blizzard to actually do women better and to stop releasing more


skinny conventionally attractive female characters! Have Overwatch take responsibility for what it set out to do!

Praising media creators for doing things they should have been doing for a long time, let alone the bare minimum of it, won’t get us anywhere. There’s a difference between actual progress and finally getting to something that should be a given, like decent representation

There’s a reason we have both an “improvement” and “improvement?” tags.

Addressed before: 

~Ozzie, – wincenworks & -Icy


@lauraelyse submitted:

Same character class, same style of game, three different takes on it.
Stylistic choices don’t exist in a vacuum.

Dirty Bomb really doesn’t get enough credit for it’s walking the walk when it comes to egalitarian character designs and commitment to diversity.  Every mercenary has a story, a personality and gear that is suitable to them – on top of that, they’re not afraid to let things get ugly.  Have a look at how Proxy (basically their equivalent of Tracer in terms of personality) looks lately:


Needless to say Sparks as a white-clad medic who’s only thoughts on her profession is “Call me Sparks. I heal. I kill. Is ironic paradox. Yadda Yadda.” is a wonderful breath of fresh air in games.

Ambra from Battleborn is certainly not ideal, but as we’ve discussed before her design reeks of the Creepy Marketing Guy influence – but they at least made her a unique character and worked in no small amount of entertaining quirk.


Mercy… oh Mercy.

– wincenworks

Before anyone comes to say we’re taking things out of context or comparing apples to oranges, yes, all those games have their own aesthetic and we should should judge how each character looks within it.
Dirty Bomb is quite realistic, Battleborn is very cartoony and Overwatch lies somewhere in the middle.

Overwatch, out of the three, is the one which suffers from disparate stylization:


And with female cast already less diverse than male, boobplates, the staple of unrealistic ignorant female costume design, look jarrigly cartoony there.

And we’re still not okay with boobplate on Galilea, even though Battleborn is more heavily stylized.

Speaking of ensemble games with cartoony aesthetic, let’s not forget about Gigantic, which while not boobplate-free (on their healer character, no less), does really good with gender and age balance among their cast.


This week’s throwback: a reminder that Blizzard’s bland approach to female character design really pales in comparison to competition.

Also that Battleborn never had to be asked to deliver Black (or Black-coded, considering the sci-fi fantasy setting) playable women.


R.I.P. Battleborn, a potentially great game that committed a pre-emptive suicide by getting released shortly before very similar product from Blizzard while having barely a fraction of huge marketing power and none of religious fanbase devotion that Blizzard both has.


Tidy Up Tuesday #85

Redesign streams are very likely to come back this weekend! Stay tuned till Friday for more info!

Some elaboration on the obviously contentious topic of Ashe being the next Overwatch heroine:

  • Arguing over whether she’s a “true” albino or not completely misses the point of the whole discussion. Even if Ashe was (and her design, even when accounted for makeup, makes a shitty job of conveying albinism in person of any ethnicity), this changes absolutely nothing about Blizzard electing to give another pale, thin conventionally attractive woman spot in the cast rather than finally creating a playable Black woman. Especially since she’s clearly not a PoC albino, as many rebloggers pointed out.
  • People claiming that racebending a supposed albino to be Black is somehow taking away from albino representation are concern trolls
  • Literally all “arguments” about Overwatch “already having” playable Black female representation are neatly listed and debunked in this handy masterpost by @geegee-wellplayed​. Please go read it and hand the link to anyone who claims that Symmetra/the Amaris/Sombra/Efi/Lucio is all that Black women need to identify with in the game. 
  • “Ashe is a gang leader, so making her black would be a bad look” rhetoric makes as much sense as any Thermian argumentshe doesn’t have to be made as an antagonistic gang leader or to be (extremely) white. It was entirely Blizzard’s choice to release a character like that instead of literally anyone else. 
  • For some more detailed commentary about overall blandness of Ashe’s character design, please read this writeup by our reader @red-queen-on-the-heathen-throne
  • If you actually think that @darthputa​ or anyone (particularly PoC) doing race-bent redesigns of white characters from predominantly white media is the real racist and you still follow this blog, please unfollow immediately. Or at the very least tell us, so we can block you. 

Since it wasn’t the first time we discussed the matter, with the Ashe post we introduced the representation and diversity tags. We’re still working on re-tagging old posts with them, so if you guys spot in our archives something related to those topics and not yet tagged, please drop us a note!

~Ozzie, – wincenworks & – Icy





What could have been if Blizzard and Overwatch had women of color on their teams and cared about their black fans…

….i don’t know how to break this to you

but that’s clearly a character with albinism of some kind

she could feasibly be any race, but with albinism

which is a remarkably rare medical condition

albinos of every race exist

also….isn’t it kinda very racist to put bigger lips like that in a “black” racebend? lmao

that is true op why did you make the person have bigger lips?

because im a black woman and I have big ass lips and wanted her to have big ass juicy lips

[click on images to see them, if you’re not viewing from Tumblr dashboard]

So let me get this straight…

  1. Overwatch churns out like third white chick in a row.
  2. Fed up fan of color racebends her to show what it would look like if Blizz actually cared to have black female representation.
  3. And, according to rabid Blizzard fanboys, now SHE is the racist one, because this albino character might as well not be intended to be white?

If you don’t see anything wrong with that logic, unfollow our blog immediately. 

Seriously. We don’t want you here. 


Firstly, I definitely recommend everyone read this piece by Black Girl Gamers.

By far the most common certain demographic response seems to have been to claim that it’s fine that literally none of Overwatch’s 25 playable characters is a black woman because line up includes robots, an ape and a hamster… so naturally is the most diverse range possible.

That of course, is not even vaguely what “diversity” is about and even Blizzard executives Chris Metzen (now retired) and Jeff Kaplan (definitely not retired) understand that:


The problem is: Overwatch got prematurely rubber stamped for “good diversity” primarily for having higher than the (abysmal) industry standard for female, brown and old lady characters. (ie, some characters exist).

Now they’ve got that kudos, they’re not interested in actually delivering on promises or even maintaining the baseline. 

Well it’s either that, or they decided that a key demographic who needs over representation is conventionally sexually attractive white women.  Specifically ones who are almost identical to Widowmaker. [link]


(Again, I remind you – it is a stated goal of Blizzard to make this game about better representation for everyone, especially women, and they have leaned into every ounce of the abundant of praise they have received regarding representation and diversity in the past three years)

And if all of that wasn’t already bad enough:

There is seriously no way that anyone can believe that Blizzard, as a company, have any interest in good representation and making everyone feel welcome beyond sound bytes and quick stunts they can do to seek publicity boosts.

– wincenworks

BABD highly recommends you consider supporting:

Black Girl Gamers ( www | twitter | twitch )
I Need Diverse Games ( www | twitter | twitch | patreon

Cool for the Summer Skins (NSFW)

Our first (and definitely not last) foray into redrawing Overwatch. Their summer 2017 skins were a strange mix of bland and safe, cosplay, and a single actually good idea (grill dad 76). We decided that wouldn’t do, and so picked two of the more unsatisfactory skins in the collection to redesign and actually have some fun with!


When I first saw Widow’s boring, predictable summer skin, I was mildly annoyed. But after giving it some thought, I became hugely disappointed that they didn’t make her into a fisherman! The fishing rod that looks like a sniper rifle? She even has a grappling hook that could be made to look like she’s throwing a fishing line. What a missed opportunity.

So I made try-explaining-those-tanlines Widow into fishing-day Widow, complete with plaid shirt and huge rubber boots. Because her legs are so fricking long, I should probably have given her hip waders, which are rubber boots that go up to your thighs or higher. They’re actually appropriate thigh-high boots, for once! Given more time, I could have also given her more accessories on her belt, like a bunch of lures and containers with bait.

This is one of those ideas that I may come back to and actually design properly

in the future.



I found the “Nike” Mercy skin utterly uninteresting and kinda overdesigned. to fight that, I changed her tunic to have a shorter “tabbard”, expose one breast (because why not?) and cover up more of her butt. 

Got rid of those sandals with weird, borderline impossible to wear straps, and replaced them with winged Nike sneakers. 

And to make more serious attempt at portraying her as Nike, the goddess of victory, I put the laurel in her hand, instead of head, which is this mythical figure’s most basic attribute, right after the wings. And one more in her mouth, to make her more cheeky.





@bikiniarmorbattledamage thought you would like this one

NICE! We’re all for sexifying dude characters with feminine clothing as long as it’s not framed as mockery, humiliation and/or emasculation. 

And Reaper here looks positively glorious in both those dresses! They match his goth aesthetic quite well, too. All while showing off his biceps and abs! 


What I would do to see these kinds of skins in-game. Imagine him popping his Ultimate while wearing these! 

I suppose the only issue is gun storage, but he could probably use the trick that Wonder Woman used in the movie last year.


Also, why are not talking about hooded dresses, which I need in my life?? 


More sexy Reaper on BABD


(submitted by Jury) 

Whoah. The absurd of Tera, the universal example of logic-defying female battle outfits, advertising itself to have “practical armor”… that is skin-tight and boobsock-y on women leaves me astonished. 

This armor is so totally practical that even Erik Larsen, the devoted anti-practicality in women’s costumes guy, probably wouldn’t mind it. 

Dear Tera’s Creepy Maketing Guy: Just because boobplate and figure-hugging metal cover more than what you usually call “armor”, it doesn’t mean you should label it as “practical”. 


I feel it’s time to bring this back, not just because laughing at Tera’s idea of quality armor never gets old, there’s a funny thing I noticed.  I feel like I’ve seen this… somewhere recently… 


Yes to everyone assuring us that Blizzard is really trying… we have confirmation they are trying about as hard as Tera was last year.


– wincenworks

More on Overwatch on BABD | More on Tera on BABD


i got tired of waiting for a legendary skin so i kinda…did it myself. sorry blizzard
(the outfit isn’t 100% accurate but i tried…..)

“rangapravesam” is the term for a classical dancer’s debut performance!

💙 symmetra fanbook preorders open! 💙

This is truly fantastic not only for the authentic touch of the culture, but also for the excellent choice of a dancer outfit for a character who has elegant dancing sequences as her emotes.  This is really the sort of thing I’d hope to see in a game as touted for diversity as Overwatch is.

I really do wish that Jeff Kaplan would look to these kinds of designs and priorities for his goal of “trying to do women characters better” rather than looking for ways to make their previous design standards seem more acceptable under casual examination.

– wincenworks