Overwatch Fans Angry That Blizzard Censored Tracer Due To SJWs


Overwatch’s game director, Jeff Kaplan, made a follow-up post on the Battle.net forums following the blow-up over Blizzard appearing to have capitulated to the cries of a couple of Social Justice Warriors that a gender-neutral pose in Overwatch was sexually objectifying to the character Tracer. Kaplan stated that he nor Blizzard are pandering to SJWs. However, Blizzard’s loyal fandom isn’t buying into Kaplan’s response.

As a quick recap: A father felt that the Tracer pose — where her back is facing the camera and she’s looking over her shoulder — was too sexualized for the character and turned her into a sex symbol. He wanted Blizzard to remove the pose for Tracer so that his daughter can continue to look up to the fictional character.

A few quick facts: The pose is optional and must be unlocked through gameplay. The pose is gender neutral and is available for many of the characters in the game. The pose does not have to be used if you don’t want to. The pose only appears during the victory screen.

After deciding to censor the pose for Tracer, Overwatch’s game director, Jeff Kaplan, stated in the post

“We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision, and that’s okay. That’s what these kinds of public tests are for. This wasn’t pandering or caving, though. This was the right call from our perspective, and we think the game will be just as fun the next time you play it. “

Some of the posts directly following his comment praised him for the stance and they agreed that it wasn’t censorship or Blizzard folding. However, not everyone was blinded and captivated by Kaplan’s seemingly well-reasoned response.

Bloodhawk directly called out Kaplan, responding to his post, stating…

“[Pandering] is exactly what it is, Tigole. That is blatantly and obviously what it is. If you were actually skeptical of whether the pose was appropriate for the character of Tracer, it wouldn’t have been put in the game in the first place. I think that is a flagrant lie you fabricated when you saw the enormous backlash of the ridiculous decision you made. It’s backpedaling. It’s damage control. Admit it.”

 

“Censorship makes me uncomfortable. Pandering to social justice warriors makes me uncomfortable. Supporting a developer that takes the criticism of feminists and other SJWs more seriously than that of their core playerbase makes me uncomfortable.”

In the beta test feedback thread for Overwatch, users like Immhey pointed out that this is a form of pandering that it will only get worse in gaming if it continues…

“I don’t care about the pose but the philosophy behind this change doesn’t sit right with me at all. We live in such stupid times that people get offended so easily and companies cave to their pressure. It limits creative freedom and will continue to get worse as these people have their way more and more.”

Some users mentioned the proverbial “pre-order cancelled”, which spawned some Blizzard fans to try to reason to them and to reconsider buying the game and to not let the whole culture wars affect their decision. Others already had their mind made up, like Leshrac, who didn’t want to hear excuses about why Blizzard pandered to the Social Justice Warrior crowd, but simply felt they had no spine in standing by their own creative endeavors…

“I’m gonna boycott overwatch now. I’m not even gonna test the beta now it’s just ridiculous that this is even an issue. I’m done with the PC culture ruining games over silly things. If you feel like cowering to these types of people I don’t feel like I should support you any longer.”

A lot of users seemed to direct their anger directly at SJWs and feminists, with users like Sinister stating…

“Blizzard should BAN Fipps from Overwatch, Last thing we need is this game being directed by a bunch of feminists.”

Sinquah didn’t hold back either, placing blame squarely on Social Justice Warriors, stating…

“fukcing social justice warriors. if the game fukcing offends you, please go outside, dig a hole until your WiFi cant reach you, easy fix. oh wait, it’s dark down there, not enough colors of diversity, not gender fluid enough for you? quick blame the shovel and dirt for racism, *#@##*** and oppressing you.”

A few users said they didn’t care about the pose itself, but the principle of caving in to demands of censorship for a vocal minority rubbed them the wrong way, as pointed out by Frostrot

“You should feel shame for giving into SJW’s. They are not your majority user base, in fact they most likely do not even play the game and just creep in here to QQ at things to push their psychopath agenda, they are nothing more than cultists ignore them.”

Xxav brings out a good point about Widowmaker still having the pose, writing…

“Anyone who thinks they’re removing it because it’s too sexual is just wrong. How come they’re not removing Widowmakers? It’s the same exact thing.”

As the main image shows, you can also unlock the pose for Hanzo and a number of other characters as well.

The question becomes: why couldn’t they leave the pose as an option for people who wanted to use it?

If the name of the game is inclusion and diversity, how does excluding equal-opportunity poses and limiting player options make a game more inclusive and diverse?

The topic has generated a 116 page thread (and counting) over on the official World of Warcraft forums. The topic creator, Nemestrinus, asks some good questions about the issue and makes some salient points, writing…

“[…] this isn’t the first time some random person has stated “i dont like this” and then it gets changed in regards to some of the female characters in your games as well as any of the more minimalist armor that shows more skin. this has happened with Sylvanas in both HotS and Legion, Ysera, Tyrande and probably some of the other non-obvious ones that i can’t think of at the moment. though im surprised you havent changed Alextrazsa at all yet.

 

“but at the same time, none of this attention ever gets put on your male characters. we have very important people like Garrosh, Grommash, Nozdormu, Illidan, Malfurion (just cause he has a beard doesn’t mean he isn’t shirtless) and 99% of every demon hunter npc we have seen run around without shirts/chest armor and just have pants and maybe a belt on.”

The issue catapulted well outside of the forums and into the mainstream domain, trending on Twitter and even having usually neutral voices like Erik Kain to side against Blizzard’s decision to remove the pose.

In the Forbes article, Kain states…

“Don’t take stuff out because you’re worried someone might be uncomfortable. Sure, Blizzard is now saying they think they can do better than this pose. But there’s something knee-jerk and a bit spooky about caving so quickly to someone’s discomfort like this.”

This article came after Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson took to Twitter to chastise Blizzard for their decision, stating…

Markus Persson on Twitter

The solution is to give the male characters the ability to make the same pose, Blizzard, not to cowardly let the outrage bullies win.

These same outrage bullies had Microsoft apologizing for hiring go-go dancers at an after-party at GDC this past year.

Previously they bullied Obsidian into removing a limerick from Pillars of Eternity, and they threatened Play-Asia for supporting Koei Tecmo’s release of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3.

These same agenda pushers also censored and ideologically butchered games like Fire Emblem Fates and Blade & Soul, much to the disgust of gamers and even in the face of protests where gamers asked for content not to be censored or acculturated for Western audiences. These same individuals also removed and changed content in Xenoblade Chronicles X for the Wii U.

In one of the worst cases of attempted censorship, Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian went to the United Nations to ask them to do something about online harassment and sexism in gaming. The United Nations put on a shoddy report that they later had to retract, but then decided to get more proactive by directly attempting to push Japan into censoring games, anime and manga that they felt were harmful towards women. Japan had to tell the U.N., that video game characters, anime characters and manga drawings… aren’t real.

In the case of Overwatch, some female gamers were angered that a man could suppress a woman’s sexuality, and as pointed out on Kotaku in Action, some of these women fired back on social media.

Anne Munition on Twitter

Re: https://gameranx.com/updates/id/46492/article/blizzard-to-remove-tracer-pose-from-overwatch-due-to-sex-symbol-complaints … I’m a woman. I love that women can be sexy AND kick some serious ass. Why isn’t Tracer allowed to be both?

 

Pokket on Twitter

Despite the fact she’s fully covered and everything : A woman or man can be strong, badass, *and* sexy. Sigh. https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/714541381067218944 …

 

Michele Morrow on Twitter

I am completely AGAINST removing the Tracer pose in @PlayOverwatch. Install maturity filters. Don’t censor. Cigars & guns = worse than butts

There was a mother gamer who made a post on the forums as well, but the post was deleted. Thankfully an archive exists where Ginny Higerd plead her case and that of other female gamers, writing…

“Blizzard, why am I not allowed to be strong and sexy? Why am I not allowed to love these characters as they already are? Why are you alienating not just me, but many other women that love these female characters as they are for a single voice?

 

“I want Tracer to stay how she is. I want her to be strong, confident, and sexy. Please, PLEASE, stop trying to make this game too PC. Stop trying to make women like me out to be sensitive babies that can’t handle beautiful women. Stop trying to cater to “families” when this game isn’t mean to be played by younger children.”

Blizzard hasn’t unveiled the new pose for Tracer despite them claiming that they were going to remove the “Over The Shoulder” look anyway.

There was one post that stood out from a concept artist who works in the industry, posting under the Battle.net handle Asuka, where they wrote…

“Blizzard have learned from this, no doubt, but that only means that things like this will happen again, but without public announcements. Which means people might get blind to “sjw propelled changes” (in the lack of a better term). I have a VERY slim hope that maybe that won’t be the case if this thread remains active.”

It’s been a trend in recent times for companies to capitulate to these kind of demands and in the current climate it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better. Strangely enough, Blizzard doesn’t seem to mind all the anger from their actual fanbase but they really do seem to fear the critical lens of feminists and Social Justice Warriors for some reason.



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