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Wednesday, December 28, 2016 

A webcomic based on Overwatch sets up a character as lesbian

And the MSM is predictably acting like this is such a big deal, even though as far as I know, there have been a number of games before that feature LGBT characters:
As seen in the pages of the comic, Tracer — like the rest of the Overwatch team — is celebrating Christmas and surprises her girlfriend Emily with a scarf as a present, receiving a kiss for her efforts. The pair later attends team member Winston’s party together.

The reveal is a big deal in terms of representation, especially considering Tracer’s popularity and visibility — not just within the game, but also in its marketing. But it’s also in keeping with Blizzard Entertainment’s statements that there are LGBT characters within the game, making Tracer only the first to be confirmed.
It won't make any difference how long or how many LGBT characters have already been introduced in video games or comic strips based on them, they'll always act as though this is something new, and a big deal to boot. And it won't matter to them how old it's getting either, they'll still fawn over them no matter how snooze-inducing it becomes. As far as I know, homosexual characters in computer games, actual or implied, could date back as far as the late 80s-early 90s and Japanese games certainly had some. It's nothing new.

Even the Wash. Post is fawning over this tedious tripe, though they do confirm what I just noted above:
The announcement is a significant step for Blizzard, which, Chu has said in interviews, plans to eventually reveal multiple gay heroes. And Blizzard’s progression is certain to have a ripple effect in the industry as the company sends a strong message of inclusiveness to role-playing gamers. You can bet Blizzard’s competitors will be closely monitoring fan reaction and sales.

If the financial and social-media embrace of Blizzard’s move is strong enough, we could see the gaming industry become as reactive to calls for LGBTQ representation of highly popular main characters as the comics industry has become in recent years.

There has been LGBTQ representation in video games for three decades (since at least 1986’s “Moonmist”), of course, and games such as “Fallout 2,” “Fable” and “The Last of Us” have been markers along a long road. Yet recent years have seen vital strides. In February, for instance, “Mortal Kombat” introduced its first gay character (Shaolin monk Kung Jin). Now, the move by “Overwatch” is a milestone partly because of Tracer’s main role.
Well I never liked Mortal Kombat anyway; such a revolting game with its emphasis for many years on gory-bloody death strike tactics. But if they're suggesting the comics medium never had homosexuality presented before, that's not so at all. They've had focuses of some sort even longer than video games did. It's just that in recent years, they've been pushing this "normalization" of the abnormal in ways more contemptible than ever before.

And then, New York Magazine predictably made another mockery out of the issue by talking about tweeters making jackasses of themselves, though I'll admit those who are doing the following are such idiots:
Almost immediately after the reveal, two very divided camps emerged online: those who applauded the inclusion of a prominent gay character, and those who are mad about “diversity” and “political correctness” being shoved down their throats. Some portion of the latter group seems to be mad because they can no longer be horny about the unrealistically attractive fictional character now that she has been gay in a comic book.
If it matters, of course it's ridiculous that anybody thinks they can't be horny for an imaginary gal who's not even at fault for being turned into what was once known as a closet case. Besides, some of these ideas are done for male titillation as it is. But how sad to see the dummy who wrote this is using quote-unquote to invalidate any legit arguments about a practice that's otherwise unhealthy, mentally and physically.
Needless to say, the outcry is, for lack of a better phrase, extremely stupid. Overwatch is a multiplayer-only arena shooter with no conventional narrative. It’s not just that Tracer is a fictional character; it’s that she’s barely a character at all — she’s a drawing whose vague backstory is established through short bits of dialogue, and external, non-game media. Nobody could definitively state Tracer’s sexual orientation before Blizzard did this week, months after the game’s launch. Nobody knew that Tracer is a lesbian before this week and it has no bearing on how the game is played or how the characters in it act.
Oh, I'll admit, the outcry over the non-loss of a "waifu" is dopey. But there's just one little thing: how many are truly irked over this? If it's only a few hundred or even less, that's not much to go on, and it's honestly as much a waste of time as they outcry itself. All that aside, I believe I've spotted a certain paradox here - they admit Tracer's a fictional girl, yet at the same time act as though she'd been lesbian before, when this is clearly just a recent decision by the programming staff who created the game. If she's a fictional character, her being lesbian is irrelevant, because they never thought of making her one in the past, and only recently, did.

And will the webcomic's portrayal make Tracer any more three-dimensional? The simple answer is "no". There's tons of characters with all sorts of background applications who remain pedestrian because the writers, much like with comics, have no real interest in fleshing them out beyond that, proving "revelations" like these are only done for publicity that could just as easily be obtained without it. If the game's playable, that's what matters, and not characterization by any stretch.

But what's really absurd here is that several months ago, a whole controversy rose up because one of the game producers, at the behest of a single protestor whose claim to be a parent is unclear, said they would change a butt shot scene with Tracer. What's really laughable is that the alleged parent even claimed, "It just reduces Tracer to another bland female sex symbol." As if sex symbolism is a bad thing, let alone "bland". That said, if this was a parent, one can only wonder what he/she thinks now that Blizzard did this. Basically, what we have here is 2 sides of the same coin: Blizzard's staff supposedly doesn't want to sexualize Tracer by depicting her with a butt shot, yet they do go about sexualizing her by depicting her in a lesbian relationship with a roommate. If that "parent" is still buying the game despite the poor role model homosexuality can set, he/she is one pure disgrace of a cybertroll. If not, he/she owes an apology for being so petty. I wonder if the dummy who whined before even had the guts to post on the Blizzard forum any more after the news came out?

In the end, if this is just a webcomic where all this takes place, then no, it doesn't really have much bearing on the game, but it's still pretty insulting to the intellect how they keep pushing this balderdash while not considering ladies and gents with backgrounds stemming from race by nationality (Portuguese, Armenian, French, Serbian, Romanian, and other backgrounds like those). Their continued reliance on homosexuality as a characteristic is pathetic when there's so much more they could try out.

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Sheesh, it's only a webcomic, no need to work yourself into a frazzle over it.

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