Many excited readers informed us of the new Overwatch tank character, Orisa, as well as her child prodigy creator, Efi.
One thing we can say from the start is that Orisa is easily the first female-identified character in the game to whom “can I fap to her?” obviously wasn’t a design priority. So there’s no robo-ass or boobs to show and sexualize.
That said, she’s a modified battle robot, so unless Blizzard lowered their standards to super sleazy, it was a given she wouldn’t have arbitrary secondary sex characteristics.
That said, Omnics having gender in the first place is pretty complicated issue, storytelling-wise, as some are considered non-gendered machines (Bastion) and other are mechanical people (Zenyatta), which makes it akin to “Why does Goofy wear pants, but Pluto doesn’t?” sort of philosophical problem.
Though Orisa’s story, given that Efi converted her from one kind of robot into another, seems to explain her being female quite well.
It’s also nice to see how since the open beta, number of female tanks in the game rose from 0 to 3 out of 6, making it
the first currently the only gender-balanced class in Overwatch.
Efi herself being an African girl is good in terms of diversifying cast, though we’re still yet to see a black female character who is also playable.
If we are to engage in the oddity of gendered robots it’s good that the explanation be something outside of gender roles or excuses for literal objectification of women.
It’s really good to see Blizzard actually applying some of the principles they’ve been talking about at the GDC.
It would however, be even better if they remembered that while it’s important to have diversity in your secondary cast, it’s even more important to have it in your primary lineup. That and robots are not (yet) an audience for your games.
edit: Thanks to @randomentalist for pointing out that support class used to be gender-balanced after introduction of Lúcio, but before Ana.