Overwatch: Diversity in Games and the Real World

“Guayasamin Diversity Hands Cubism Ecuadorian Art by EcuadorsArt, $145.00 | Home Decor | Pinterest | Art, Painting and Cubism.” Pinterest, Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/22095854394350713/.

“Guayasamin Diversity Hands Cubism Ecuadorian Art by EcuadorsArt, $145.00 | Home Decor | Pinterest | Art, Painting and Cubism.” Pinterest, Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/22095854394350713/.

Halie Starks, Nerdy Writer

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Overwatch is a first person shooter created by Blizzard that has a variety of different heroes. The game is well balanced having male, female and even animal heroes that you can play. One of the major reasons I personally enjoy playing Overwatch is because of this diversity. It is really amazing to hear different voice lines the heroes speak in different languages and the many different skins themed on different cultures.

This years event, Year of the Pig features many amazing skins based mostly on Korean culture. For example Tracer’s skin for Year of the Pig is based off a illegitimate son of a nobleman who steals from the rich to give to the poor. The design of the skin matches how he is normally drawn in Korean literature. Orisa, Zenyatta and Bridgette got skins as well based off of various Korean cultural ideas and traditions.

Overwatch does this not only for skins but voice lines as well. Widowmaker, a French assassin has voice lines in English but has many voice lines in French as well. Some of these voice lines give meaning the character referencing their backstory and some feature cultural meaning. For example one of Widowmaker’s voice lines is let them eat cake which refers to a French Queen, Marie Antoinette. There is no record of her saying the phrase but people believe that she spoke the phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” which translated means let them eat cake. She spoke the phrase when she learned that the peasants had no bread. This voice line helps express how Overwatch is including the culture of all of the characters they make through voice lines.

The variety of heroes in Overwatch is truly amazing ranging from cultural skins, voice lines and the different kinds of people. It is really fun to play Overwatch and know that every hero is different coming from different backstories and places. Many games include this type of diversity and I believe that is important in video games. Kids play video games and always have one hero they look up to and I believe it is important for kids to look up at heroes who are not just the stereotypical hero kind. These kind of heroes are like the “Supermans” of games media, the normal good guy who saves the day no matter what happens. Boring and unoriginal heroes with no real connection to anyone but a certain group of people.

This idea stretches farther than just video games though even tapping into the movie industry. The movie Black Panther was amazing with really cool characters and it had an enthralling story. Although that is not the major reason, I believe, I believe the movie was so popular because of an African American hero starring a superhero movie. The African American community was thrilled to take their children to the movie theaters to see someone who is like them. Parents have talked about wanting to see more of this in the future because it gives their children someone to look up to that relates to them on a more cultural level.

Diversity is what makes games like Overwatch and movies like Black Panther really amazing works of art. In the real world we see people of all races, ages and genders, so entertainment should reflect that as well! It is really awesome to know that the people behind movies and games are really looking into the idea of diversity in games. More and more games are featuring female heroes and heroes of all different kinds and backstory. This really shows how the world is changing and leaving a good imprint on the industry of media.  

Even in games the world we live in makes an imprint, since some games take real world ideas and problems and turn them into games for all to see. I like to get lost in games and I am sure that many people agree with me in this sense. Video games and other forms of entertainment are meant to entertain all people, no matter who they are or how they look. Which is why seeing video games like Overwatch and movies like Black Panther is incredible. I am really happy to see that diversity in games and movies is becoming an important thing and this is for the better. Overwatch is a good leading example in how diversity is starting to take form in everything from video games to even movies. I hope that Overwatch and Black Panther started the charge for equal representation in multimedia.