LGBTQ+ Representation in Overwatch
Written By: Reese Coulter
Edited By: Mary Joaquin
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Last June 29, we welcomed Chris “Boop” Lessard, Rammy, and OhKay for our LGBTQ+ Representation in Overwatch panel. Before we dive into their thoughts, let’s first get to know our speakers.
Chris “Boop” Lessard (he/him) is the Managing Director for Monkey Bubble, an esports production house and tournament organizer. Boop also works as a freelance commentator and host and Giant Slayer TFT caster.
Rammy (she/they) is a transgender and plural content creator. They stream Overwatch on their Twitch channel, where they also explain what it means to be plural!
OhKay (she/her) is a transgender content creator, streaming games and DJ sessions on Twitch. She also has a SoundCloud with recordings of her DJ streams.
Now without further ado, read on below about our panel with them and how they discuss the importance of diversity and inclusivity in Overwatch, and what could be improved.
Our moderator, Austin DuPilka, is our Overwatch SIG leader!
Austin DuPilka: What makes representation so important in a medium like video games?
Chris “Boop” Lessard: Representation is important, because seeing yourself in somebody can be one of the biggest motivators you have in your life.
OhKay: It makes you feel part of the community.
Rammy: There is no such thing as representation without inclusivity.
Austin: Does Overwatch do a good job of representing a wide array of people?
Chris: What I like to call Overwatch is superficial inclusivity. Basically, just because you can color a character, or say a character is something, doesn’t mean you are actually being inclusive… Something that I have felt, distinctly with Overwatch in particular, with a lot of companies during pride month, is being a prop for someone else’s success… Are they appreciating me, or the money that I am spending?
OhKay: When I look at Blizzard’s history with LGBT issues, they tend to kind of let them try to fix themselves… And when you refuse to take a stand, it’s complacency.
Austin: What would you suggest, say Blizzard was to drop a new Overwatch character, say they were going to do a new event, what would you guys suggest they do? Like, what content do you think they should add, to do better?
Rammy: What I would personally love to see would be another, if you all remember the pink Mercy skin, I believe it was for BCRF, that would be a great opportunity to support… the Trevor Project or any of the other wonderful LGBT charities; Trans Lifeline would be great, too.