So, some weeks ago Blizzard decided to get more people to play Heroes of the Storm again and to entice people to get into Heroes of the Storm, they decided to pull some of their fans over from Overwatch. Makes sense right? You use your more successful franchise to boost your slightly less successful one. Among the goodies that you would get for completing this new Nexus challenge was a new skin for D.Va, which turns her into a South Korean girl cop. And as usual with almost any new skin that Blizzard makes for Overwatch, a section of their fan base is going to get offended for some reason.
I think by now everyone is sort of used to the outrages associated with Overwatch. This is so far the second one this year. The earlier issue was with Mei being shown to be slimmer where she was supposed to have been chubby. Even earlier it was Tracer’s plump assets. This time, the outrage is again coming from Tumblr and the rage is focused on D.Va for getting a police officer skin. The question so far though is why?
Tumblrite Meltdown and Cause
The meltdown on Tumblr was sufficiently large enough that even Mic has decided to weigh in on the issue. Here’s Mic’s take on the issue: https://mic.com/articles/175269/overwatch-police-officer-d-va-skin-inspires-fan-art-debate-over-cop-brutality#.Y4fFIwoDE
If you’ve read it already, the article sort of slightly supports the idea that giving D.Va the Cop skin was bad move, by saying : "pointed out that turning D.Va into a police officer is potentially fraught territory. After all, law enforcement has been the subject of a massive nationwide movement — Black Lives Matter — that seeks to end racial discrimination at the hands of police and roll back the increasing militarization of police forces."
Tumblr has generally broken into 3 camps: the fan artists who can’t give a crap about it and think D.Va looks cute in whatever she wears, the ones who don’t see the issue and are generally defending D.Va and by extension Blizzard and the outraged ones. The source of the outrage can be traced back to one particular artist who took offence to D.Va’s outfit and promptly drew D.Va wearing a black BLM shirt. Others have also noted that this particular D.Va is also, not quite as fit as she should be. The artist’s comment that came with the artwork was, “I see your ugly ass police officer d.va and I raise you: actual Canon d.va.” You can sort of sense a bit of… projection going on here.
I think we can sort of see where this is going. Basically, some of the offended group are big fans of D.Va, they also happen to be social justice warriors (SJWs) who love to champion social causes or oppressed people. Seeing their favourite idol wear a police outfit angers them because it reminds them of the supposedly oppressive militarized police force in America. To be fair, the police in America does tend to be known for it’s violence, abuse of power and supposed racism. However, these fans forget that the police issue is an American problem and not necessarily an international one.
So, the whole story is basically some fans projecting their own insecurities and anger on D.Va and how they want people to view her. There have been some additional comments on Tumblr where people chime in and comment that D.Va in a cop outfit and heavily armed police mecha going around the map shooting the enemy team indiscriminately is highly irresponsible and saddening. You can find some of the evidence collected here:
Keep calm and initiate self-destruct sequence!
I can almost hear the sound of collective facepalming. And I agree, Overwatch is a game meant for playing among friends and maybe some salty competitive rank matches, not a place to bring identity politics in. Fortunately, Blizzard does not seem to have caved into this small group’s demand for the skin to be removed.
That being the case, I’m rather looking forward to seeing more cute fan art of D.Va and her new outfit. In some weird way though, I sort of can’t wait for Blizzard’s new Overwatch characters and their skin.