So Blizzard Entertainment has declared that their spunky and time traversing character Tracer, from the popular online shooter Overwatch, is canonically gay and people are already “up in arms” about it. Just not the people that are being accused of being up in arms about a female character being gay. Confused yet?
You see, there are quite a number of “Progressive” gaming fans out there cheering on Tracer being gay, but bemoaning all the bashing Blizzard is getting for deciding to make her that way. This looks like the same group of people that wanted a pose of hers removed several months back: complaining then that people were upset about her modified replacement pose, which appears to be motivated by no one other than Blizzard themselves.
This isn’t to say that there are not fans of Overwatch out there who are actually upset about Tracer being gay, however. With some even going as far as to say “my waifu Tracer is dead”. Though hatred for her newly discovered sexuality has been something of a mixed reaction: with some bemoaning this as inserting unnecessary identity politics and others posting provocative imagery of Tracer in celebration. Although, here’s the thing: Tracer really isn’t a well-written lesbian. It’s practically throw away canon, as a lot of romantic relationships in video games and comics tend to be. It really does feel like Blizzard put it in just because they wanted to, and it doesn’t seem as if they had any particular, compelling reason for it to be one way or the other.
My Waifu Tracer Is Dead? Since When Has That Stopped Fanfiction Before?
Perhaps the real problem consumers face with developers injecting diversity into video games is how some developers choose to use it as a means to attempt to mock gamers coupled, with several games journalists and critics amplifying that message, as opposed to simply appreciating it for what it is. Considering the gamer backlash over Tracer is still pretty negligible and not being exasperated by Blizzard, because it’s not being shoved in people’s faces by as a means to say “Look how diverse we are!” It simply is there. Besides, it isn’t like they made Winston gay, which would have totally killed the character.