Beta tests in gaming are sometimes more than just a way for the marketing department to drumroll the release for pre-orders. Fans of Blizzard’s Overwatch discovered these betas can also be an occasion to fix a problem.
On the game’s official forums, a user raised a red flag for the way Tracer – one of the main characters of the game – poses in a victory stance that doesn’t befit her.
According to the “Fipps,” the user who made the observation, Tracer’s pose shouldn’t be sexualized by having her glance over her shoulder, and her butt contained by some straps over leggings.
Fipps’ argument is rather sound. He wrote on the forum that something’s off about Tracer’s character pose. “It’s not fun, it’s not silly, it has nothing to do with being a fast, elite killer. It just reduces Tracer to another bland female sex symbol.”
And some might argue that Widowmaker is indeed a character who loves to flaunt her body and sexuality, which Fipps partly agrees with. Yes, the character is somewhat defined by her pronounced curves, but having that displayed in bold colors in a beta test sends out the wrong message.
“This [Tracer] pose says to the player base, ‘Oh, we’ve got all these cool diverse characters, but at any moment we are willing to reduce them to sex symbols to help boost our investment game,’” he added.
In the end, all Fipps wants is for Tracer to be a role model for his daughter, who can look up to Tracer and not be exposed to overtly sexualized content. His plea was largely well received by the users on the forum, and even Jeff Kaplan, creative director of Overwatch, chimed in.
He said the poster with this particular pose would be removed, agreeing with the users who fell in agreement with Fipps’ sentiments.
Kaplan added it was easy to make the decision to remove the pose since the studio had trouble with it to begin with. It turns out that the team had some internal debates before this saw the light of day.
The creative director gave his full support to the players in the community who doubted the appropriateness standpoint of Tracer’s pose. In response to some of the users who didn’t see the problem with it, Kaplan added that changing the beta now is neither censorship nor ceding creative control to the community.
For those who’ve been waiting for the Overwatch with bated breath, the game releases on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 24th.
Image Source: Gamer Network