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  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    WoW doesn’t even have a BLACK major character, much less a queer one. There are minir examples like the lesbian couple a quest in Legion is about, or the lesbian pair in the Monk class hall.

    Blizzard had a reputation for being fairly regressive until the past five or so years when it was becoming noticeable.

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure the only speaking black character in all of wow is a random kul-tiran mayor.

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  • OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel Shell, Teeth, Eyes, Flame, Claws, Breath, Scales, FUN!Registered User regular
    Sterica wrote: »
    WoW doesn’t even have a BLACK major character, much less a queer one. There are minir examples like the lesbian couple a quest in Legion is about, or the lesbian pair in the Monk class hall.

    Blizzard had a reputation for being fairly regressive until the past five or so years when it was becoming noticeable.

    Which is part of why this sort of bare-minimum, extra-canonical, safe sort of "representation" smacks of tokenism.

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  • MorivethMoriveth Nobody suspects a thing... Registered User regular
    It reminds me of JK Rowling's bending over backwards to say NO WAIT LOOK HOGWARTS WAS TOTALLY INCLUSIVE DUMBLEDORE WAS GAY after the books were done

    Or how Star Trek is apparently just, like, SO cool with gays and stuff that they never mention it because it's just an accepted thing. You never see gay couples though because uhh

    Like, yeah, cool, but you could have said that any time

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  • KwoaruKwoaru Registered User regular
    edited January 9
    I really liked the soldier 76 is gay reveal, its not amazing or ground breaking or brave or anything like that but it is a cool and good thing

    Edit I also don't think its the same thing as what Rowling did with Dumbledore but that's cause the story telling in overwatch feels different to me

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  • El FantasticoEl Fantastico Toronto, ONRegistered User regular
    I agree. It's nice that 76 is canonically gay now. The question is whether they do anything with it in terms of future lore or events. They haven't done anything with Tracer being lesbian outside of that one comic with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it reveal.

    Some people will argue that they don't need to do anything with that, but then why release lore and story bits for any character at all? People obviously care about their favourite FPS team based shooter characters.

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  • OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel Shell, Teeth, Eyes, Flame, Claws, Breath, Scales, FUN!Registered User regular
    I agree. It's nice that 76 is canonically gay now. The question is whether they do anything with it in terms of future lore or events. They haven't done anything with Tracer being lesbian outside of that one comic with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it reveal.

    Some people will argue that they don't need to do anything with that, but then why release lore and story bits for any character at all? People obviously care about their favourite FPS team based shooter characters.

    This is also part of the reason why Blizzard deserves no benefit of the doubt and this just smacks of tokenism.

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  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Casual representation is not good when it's not attached to easy, simple corporate moves

    I think it’s great that it’s mainstream enough to be queer that I can see representation in my preferred media, which is made by corporations. I also like seeing characters where being gay is just part of them, not their main storyline—and yeah for a lot of bi people, like me, it doesn’t actually come up until you’re talking about a specific ex or whatever so actually that feels quite real.

    Also 76 and reaper were already obviously fucking so how is this a surprise

    But I don’t really go for lore so eh

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  • Blameless ClericBlameless Cleric An angel made of sapphires each more flawlessly cut than the last Registered User regular
    The other aspect of the whole being hetero passing thing and shitting on bi folks for that that really bothers me is just like.. the assumptions involved when it's strangers doing it? For example, I've known that my primary partner was gender questioning and uncomfortable with he/him pronouns for our entire relationship, but until very recently it wasn't something Pinecone was ok with me talking about to anyone else. Anyone could be in a similar situation, the bi person someone's being an asshole to or their partner could be closeted in some way. Obviously bi people are still valid no matter what kind of relationship they're in, it just is super specifically frustrating for me to deal with open biphobic stuff from strangers that ALSO really hurts my partner's feelings by assuming gender.

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  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    It's 2019, and we should be past the point where making a character gay is worth any kind of praise.

    Having queer characters (well-implemented, mind) in popular media helps with recognition and acceptance. Yes, it risks your bottom line, but if that's your driving force then sorry but you don't actually give a shit about marginalized folks. Being a force for good in the world means taking risks. Not doing something that would have been bold 15 years ago but is largely accepted today. Some mewling men on your forums that will likely keep giving you money regardless is not a huge price to pay.

    Like, it just shouldn't be a news event. A black trans woman as the face of your IP is a bold move. This is...not bad but also not noteworthy except for maybe the corporate cynicism it represents.

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  • OmnipotentBagelOmnipotentBagel Shell, Teeth, Eyes, Flame, Claws, Breath, Scales, FUN!Registered User regular
    Stasis wrote: »
    I feel like that article is hitting this weird ground where it's basically saying "make queer representation radical or don't do it at all."
    Representation shouldn’t be something you do when it’s convenient, safe or easy.
    Which... I really disagree with? I love casual representation. I love when people just are queer, NBD. And ALL of Overwatch's characterization is in broad strokes and, like the article says, almost completely divorced from the game itself. Overwatch doesn't exist as a platform that can really explore complex themes.

    Now, journalists and people on social media have definitely blown Soldier 76's sexuality out of proportion, but I don't think the Overwatch team deserves criticism for doing the thing.

    I've been ruminating on this and coupled with what Sterica just said I think I kind of agree with the idea that queer rep needs to be radical. It's 2019 and we're still more or less treated as second class citizens. The fact that people will raise a fuss about public displays of queerness at all is absurd. Sure less of us are dying than in the 80s and 90s but that's not really the bar I'm comfortable saying marks progress. As long as we keep settling for scraps, for a pittance that's all we'll get. We need to move the needle, we need to make people uncomfortable so they get the fuck over it or at least so society makes it less sustainable for them to fight us. We need to demand actual risks, REAL representation. I think it's especially galling because "gay white dude" and "gay white lesbian" are the safest fucking choices in the world. They're the ideas of "queer" that has been sanitized and made palatable to the hets. They're the boxes society has decided it's okay with existing somewhere out there to fit some of us into.

    And even then the actual CONTENT of that representation is, what, a few lines of text? That's all that could be spared on the most milquetoast LGBT representation. This is the sort of thing that should be in the background of every major IP. For us to celebrate it here, now, is for us to say we accept our marginalization. Representation needs to be radical in order to create a world where it's not.

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  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    I'm not sure it has to be radical but bare minimum shoved to the sidelines representation isn't like, real representation. I don't play Overwatch but I assume literally nothing in Overwatch, no dialogue or anything, would mention that oh certain characters are queer.

    Like this is 90s shit, it sure as hell isn't praiseworthy today.

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  • GoatmonGoatmon Property of Amara_P Registered User regular
    A thing that really gets under my skin is the pernicious idea that games and other media that kids are exposed to shouldn't have queer characters in it.

    As if queer children don't exist, or that cishet kids are somehow going to catch the gay/trans/bi/pan/etc. It's really gross, and it needs to fucking stop.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    I would call WoW oppressively heterosexual in design and lore.

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  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    Goatmon wrote: »
    A thing that really gets under my skin is the pernicious idea that games and other media that kids are exposed to shouldn't have queer characters in it.

    As if queer children don't exist, or that cishet kids are somehow going to catch the gay/trans/bi/pan/etc. It's really gross, and it needs to fucking stop.

    Cishet white people are the "normal" person to these idiots.

    Someone pointed out on twitter that Overwatch doesn't even have any black women characters (I don't play it so I don't really know the roster) and now I can't stop thinking about that. What the fuck? What the fuck.

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  • PlatyPlaty Registered User regular
    Pharah and Ana are Egyptian

  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    Egyptians aren't considered black, it turns out

    neither are Indians, if Symmetra is also coming to mind


    neither of these are things I actually knew more than a year ago

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  • pimentopimento they/pim Registered User regular
    There's a robot in it that is made by a young black girl, and is black woman coded.. but that's about as close as it gets I guess?

  • PlatyPlaty Registered User regular
    Doobh wrote: »
    Egyptians aren't considered black, it turns out

    It's still a country which many African Americans and people inside Africa consider "black"

    There's a ton of racism around this topic

  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    pimento wrote: »
    There's a robot in it that is made by a young black girl, and is black woman coded.. but that's about as close as it gets I guess?

    That character was specifically called out as not being good enough because it's a robot.

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  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    Platy wrote: »
    Doobh wrote: »
    Egyptians aren't considered black, it turns out

    It's still a country which many African Americans and people inside Africa consider "black"

    There's a ton of racism around this topic

    I didn't hear this from white folk, otherwise I would have discarded it

    it's a topic I otherwise have absolutely zero ability to comment or argue on, being as that I'm also a white person

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  • SilverWindSilverWind Registered User regular
    Gita Jackson puts it well in her recent article about representation in Overwatch (Emphasis mine)
    Blackness is defined through a series of cultural markers, among them dark skin, broad noses, and kinky hair, as well as a shared cultural history of freedom from bondage. Broadly, you could define blackness as the diaspora of people displaced from Africa through the slave trade, though that doesn’t account for everyone. Blackness is more about how you are seen than how you are.

    But really, like LGBT representation, there shouldn't just be one token character who has dark skin / is queer. We should push for more from our companies

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    Goatmon wrote: »
    A thing that really gets under my skin is the pernicious idea that games and other media that kids are exposed to shouldn't have queer characters in it.

    As if queer children don't exist, or that cishet kids are somehow going to catch the gay/trans/bi/pan/etc. It's really gross, and it needs to fucking stop.

    Cishet white people are the "normal" person to these idiots.

    Someone pointed out on twitter that Overwatch doesn't even have any black women characters (I don't play it so I don't really know the roster) and now I can't stop thinking about that. What the fuck? What the fuck.

    They're decent at representation with caveats.

    11 characters are non white. Three are robots, one generic robot one asian coded one african coded. Two animals. 13 white people from various parts of the world.

    As shooter casts go that's pretty decent. Most of the backstory doesn't show up in game aside from character commentary. So the limit you're going to get for in game LGBT representation is, like, Tracer asking if 76 has gotten a new boyfriend yet or something.

    One of the characters is autistic and I'm kind of glad they haven't done more with that as I expect they'd fuck it up.

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  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    edited January 10
    What do you (plural you) think ‘active’/‘substantial’ queer representation should look like in a game like Overwatch (or similarly, league). The characters don’t really say a lot in game/what they say is largely combat-related (unique versions of “hello everyone” “I need healing” “firing my ultimate”). Like...do you think someone should be saying “firing my gay ultimate gaily”? I think that would generally not work.

    The place where there’s more personality is in little dialogs the characters sometimes have in the waiting lobby before the match, so for example the two ‘celebrity’ type characters are like ‘oh hey I like your work! Oh hi me too, I want to go to your concert soon!’ So that’s somewhere that a character who is friends with a gay character might be like, ‘hey how’s your girlfriend doing?’ And then the gay character says ‘oh she’s fine would you like to have dinner with us after the match?’ I think that would work quite well. These waiting room dialogues are basically never particularly deep or emotional but they certainly could tie in to a character’s lgbt identity. LoL doesn’t have waiting room dialogues, but recently they have added in single lines of dialogue in between champions when you use the taunt option near them. They have a couple characters, including one gay one (Neeko) who flirt with a couple of the other characters.

    The other place that OW and League can get into queer stuff is in the (optional, invariably poorly written and really dumb) lore. Lore items can be comics, movies, or short stories about the champions, and they are generally released on the company website and social media as well as being accessible through the game client. You do not have to engage with these to play the game or get a sense of the characters’ personalities; however they are longer form and allow for more emotional themes and backstory explanation. This is where you can tell a very queer story if you want to. It is background, in a way, but it’s also realistically the only place in this genre to tell any substantive story of any kind, because champions simply do not express much in game due to the nature of the game.

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  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Oh the other avenue for representation in game in OW, which I forgot cause I haven’t played in a year and there’s no equivalent in LoL, is the sprays. Sprays are little images that you can tag surfaces with, and individual characters can have sprays that break the fourth wall/acknowledge the gamelile nature of the game and not just the lore stuff. So it would be entirely appropriate for a trans character to get a trans flag spray or something like that.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Also wow I knew the UK press was horrible but this is something else



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  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    character do talk to each other before a match in OW

    but, really, Blizzard would actually do a lot of lifting in the official lore/comics/cinematics if they wanted to

    and, honestly, a trans flag spray is fucking great because I would 100% spray paint it on a wall if I fragged someone being openly transphobic in chat

    not that I ever plan on playing a Blizzard game in the future, since it has an INCREDIBLY toxic community

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  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think they did add a line where Winston and Tracer briefly mention Emily.

    Overwatch is weird because the characterization and lore is largely pushed to, well, the margins. If it weren't for player osmosis, then a person could easily play Overwatch for years and never realize that Tracer or 76 are gay.

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  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    I guess the question is how much does this actually matter, in the end? Individual meaning is one thing, but I guess the question bumping around is if Blizzard even can put queer characters into the game in a radical fashion.

    If the answer to that is 'No' then I guess I still don't see a reason to pat Blizzard on the back and tell them how great they are? Casually showing that we exist should be basic shit for fictional work in general.

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  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Don't despair. Not even over the fact that you don't despair.Registered User regular
    I feel like blizzard would have gotten less shit if they hadn’t put any gay characters in at all

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  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    No, they would have gotten more shit. It just wouldn't be in the public eye as much.

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  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    I see it as Blizzard hitting a solid C. It shouldn't really be lauded, it should be minimum standard, but most companies don't hit it and so it gets graded on a curve. I can see absolutely see the point of anyone who says "with the resources they have, why are they only hitting a C?"

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  • El FantasticoEl Fantastico Toronto, ONRegistered User regular
    Fact is, for as big of a game company as Blizzard is (in terms of brand recognition, player base across their plethora of games like Diablo, Hearthstone, WoW, OW, etc), their inclusion of queer characters in lore shouldn't be discredited because at least it's a step in the right direction. Upending some lore to add a queer character so that their millions of fans see the inclusion is still a good thing.

    Full stop. Period. That's all it is.

    I wouldn't give them any further praise because until they make a mainline game or character that is front-and-center at the core of the experience and queer, all of it means shit. I think most of us believe that it is a token move for business reasons and probably won't get any more attention to it until they decide that the next WoW-expansion might have a predominantly queer questline or Overwatch Hero #32 will be queer right out the gate (neither one will happen, mark my words).

    And it's not as Blizzard would even be the first company to do it. Ubisoft and BioWare (especially BioWare) have been including plots, quests and references to queer characters in their games for years, and that's just scratching the surface.

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  • -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    The most important representation is who is represented on the payroll

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  • jaziekjaziek Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Also wow I knew the UK press was horrible but this is something else



    Every. Single. Day. You will find an anti-trans piece in the major newspapers. Every day.

    It is simply inescapable. They want trans people gone, they want it now, and the way things are going, they will likely get what they want.

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  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    I think Bioware hit its first real bulls-eye with Dorian's personal quest, because hoo boy

    bonus points for letting me say what I would have told him IRL

    plus DA2 let me be queer trash and I can't hate that

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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    I love Dorian and his quest

    Tube wrote: »
    I was legit hoping that Shorty was somehow mistaken and the world wasn't that fucked
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  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    jaziek wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Also wow I knew the UK press was horrible but this is something else



    Every. Single. Day. You will find an anti-trans piece in the major newspapers. Every day.

    It is simply inescapable. They want trans people gone, they want it now, and the way things are going, they will likely get what they want.

    This also applies to the liberal papers. The Guardian is an enemy to trans people.

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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    even The Stranger gets in on that shit, it's pretty shameful

    Tube wrote: »
    I was legit hoping that Shorty was somehow mistaken and the world wasn't that fucked
  • DoobhDoobh She/Her, Ace Pan/Bisexual 8-) I want to cut to the feelingRegistered User regular
    I romanced Sera on my second playthrough

    as a qunari, too :cool:

    still annoyed that Cassandra wasn't romanceable as a woman, and that Bioware seems super afraid of including butch queer women in their games

    which is something I hope they get a chance to do better on in the future

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