While video games have mostly been made for specific age groups these past years, controversies are still the norm when it comes to the sexuality of game characters. But sexuality is bound to start controversies regardless of the industry in which it rears its head, mostly because of our diverse and individual opinions.
The most recent scandal comes from Blizzard, as the company had to deal with opposing opinions regarding something as simple as a character’s pose. But the company eventually gave in, as Blizzard removed Overwatch victory pose after butt controversy.
And even though I happen to stand with the fans that didn’t want the change, I will objectively present the entire situation. It all started with the recent Overwatch Beta, as some emotes, skins, and poses were added for the characters. And the zany time-traveler Tracer was the one that started the scandal with one of her victory poses.
Called “over the shoulder”, the pose looks exactly like what you can see above. An Overwatch player posted on Blizzard’s forum, claiming that there is no reason for the character to flaunt her sexuality. He explained that his daughter shouldn’t be exposed to overly sexual characters if there is no point to it.
The point was made very well, with the player praising Overwatch for their mostly successful efforts at implementing strong female characters, and even said that other characters that are defined by their sexuality are fine just the way they are depicted. But this is where the problem and the whole controversy began.
Most players didn’t really feel like Tracer’s pose had anything sexual about it. And it really didn’t. Just because a female character has a butt and it’s pointed towards the camera, it doesn’t mean that there’s something sexual about her pose.
Even fitting the character’s personality, the pose simply suggests some slight arrogance, with her looking over her shoulder at her defeated enemies. She just happens to be female and have a butt. That doesn’t mean that every shot in which a female character’s butt appears is sexual.
But alas, Blizzard decided to take the safe route and issue a statement according to which they will remove the pose. Even though the commenters were (strangely) mostly respectful in making their points, it was inevitable that the scandal bring out some truly unfortunate realities about our perception of female sexuality.
Blizzard’s latest statement on the subject, after deciding to remove the pose and claiming that they thought they should do from even before the comment contains the following:
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.
Image source: YouTube