When Blizzard Entertainment released their newest IP, Overwatch, one of the game’s heroes, Tracer, otherwise known as Lena Oxton, quickly became the fan favorite. The fact that Blizzard’s marketing department decided to use this hero for most of its advertising certainly helped. The hero is also extremely fun to play and good-looking (always important for female characters in the male-dominated gaming industry), which only added to its popularity. Gamers are a passionate bunch. New background information about the fan favorite was sure to cause discussion, no matter what it was.
To give the fans a deeper look into the story of Overwatch and its characters, Blizzard Entertainment is running a series of comics. In the Christmas installment, the developers dropped a bomb on their fans. The comic started with Tracer hurrying to get back home for the Christmas eve. Once she made it home, she was met by a beautiful red-haired girl. They kissed. Then, the comic showed another Overwatch hero, Winston, who was getting ready to celebrate Christmas alone, only to open the door and be greeted by Tracer and her girlfriend.
In video games, women are often objectified, both in their role in the games’ story and their looks, emphasizing their bust, buttocks, legs. It is all done in order to make the guys who play the game to fantasize about the in-game characters. Portraying one of them as queer is a new thing. Suddenly, the whole thing took an unexpected turn. It was somewhat similar to the time when J.K. Rowling announced that Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin (first class), Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot was not not only a dude with a title rivaling Daenerys Targaryen, but homosexual as well.
Many people on the Internet were shocked by the reveal, Reddit was lit. The thing is that in a perfect world, this wouldn’t be news. In a perfect world, this revelation would have been treated just as it was in the comic, casually, without fanfare, without making a big deal about it. Where in the comic, Tracer was casually kissed by her girlfriend, anyone who saw it would have just went, “Okay,” and moved on to other things. It shouldn’t have been a point of discussion. We do not live in a perfect world, however. While it’s no longer 1946, people are still shocked by things like this. They shouldn’t be, because it is what it is. The best thing we can do is deal with it.