This is why we find it difficult to celebrate Blizzard’s baby steps towards progress – they are already so self-congratulatory about it that they basically gave up before they started.
Okay, yes, baby steps, Blizzard has got a long history of being terrible and a lot unlearning to do. But they could at least try to show some self-awareness of this.
Dirty Bomb, a game which I feel we have actually tragically under-represented in our positive examples, has managed to incorporate diversity and gear equality without making it a novelty item. How? By making diversity a genuine priority – that’s why their line up looks more like this:
And it’s not only body diversity which seems to be a challenge for female Overwatch characters, so is their AGE!
D.Va is actually the youngest in the whole ensemble (19). Female characters don’t get older than 34 (Mercy), while male ones range from 20 (if you count Zenyatta, a robot) or 25 (Junkrat) all the way up to 61 (Reinhardt).
The overall design of D.Va is perplexing on so many levels, too. What new is she supposed to contribute? Yet another young, thin, conventionally pretty woman in a catsuit… something the game (and the industry as a whole) so totally lacked before! Even her silly pseudonym rubs in that she’s a diva.
The idea of a Korean professional gamer-turned-mecha pilot is very cool (even if the backstory rips off Evangelion/Pacific Rim), but why make her look so generic… and paint her mech pink?
Remember when Blizzard was doing female characters better in Overwatch?
Yeah, me neither.
We will be doing a full post about the new Widowmaker skin, but until then, we just wanted to throwback to this post about all the effort Blizzard is putting into their diversity.
It still doesn’t make sense for Widow to wear those clothes because,
- a) she is a sniper and that top just screams nip slip; and
- b) she’s a sniper, who’s she going to be ‘distracting’ exactly from 2 miles away?
It also just looks really ugly? It really looks like someone designed a practical suit for her, and then Creepy Marketing Guy walked in and told them to cut a third of it off, so they just did, without any design adjustment.
edit: Since a lot of replies ignore that the original post is almost 1,5 years old and mentioning newer characters is beside the point Icy is making about Widowmaker, let’s quickly address this: We do acknowledge how Ana Amari is a cool non-sexualized old lady (even if squarely within OW’s established beauty standards) and Orisa is a cool female robot.
That said, there are still problems with how old characters continue to be depicted and adding new heroes doesn’t change that.
PS: Mercy is 37, not 34 – my bad. She looks neither age, regardless.