Virtual Conduits: How Overwatch’s Inclusivity Promotes Hope

Tracer, Overwatch’s flagship hero, sporting the recently-released Graffiti skin / Verge

I think diversity is a beautiful end result that you get when you embrace inclusivity and open mindedness.

LGBTQ In Overwatch: On the Right Track

The pioneer. / Moby
In-game dialogue of Krem.
A statement to be made.
Tracer’s lesbian? Alright, cool. So, when’s the next event? / Reflections

LGBTQ In RuneScape: A Recipe For Disaster

The calm before the storm.

There’s a time and place for everything, but not now.

Will we do events like these again? Well that depends what you mean. The aim was clear to us, and I am sure we will have events with similar aims, although we might deliver them differently.

Honestly, what did they expect?

Well-Structured Hero Identity Actively Resonates

After just a few hours of playing, these quickly become recognizable. / Moai

Foreign Cultures Are Important

An opportunity for a different perception.

The map itself is intended as a deviation of how Iraq has usually been portrayed in games (war-torn). The idea was … perhaps a better future for the country could be represented.

Ana’s well-crafted Tal skin, paying homage to traditional Korean masks. / GeekBomb

The Attentive Embrace of Stereotypes and Disorders

Again, a strong statement told in a beautiful way.
Real change through virtual means.

Further Thoughts On Symmetra’s Implementation

My general thoughts on Symmetra being autistic are one hundred percent positive. When I first heard about this, all I could think was:

“That’s so cool! A video game superhero (because that’s basically what Overwatch’s characters are even if Blizzard doesn’t use the word) who’s a little more like me and portrayed in a positive light.”

Usually characters depicted with traits of being on the autism spectrum are shown as weird or negative, like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

Another interesting thing about it is that it made me understand all the calls for gay, poc, and transgender representation better. If having gay, POC, trans, etc, characters makes people of those groups feel the same way I did about Symmetra then it’s definitely something that needs to be done more.

As for the differences between autism and Asperger’s, that’s a very large can of worms.

The most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-V, removed Asperger’s as a valid diagnosis. Those who were previously diagnosed are now considered as either having autism or being part of a new, completely separate disorder called Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder.

Many people, however, continue to use the Asperger’s diagnosis. Personally I use it as while I feel my traits would put me on Autism Spectrum Disorder side versus the SCD side, autism is such a wide spectrum that saying it alone doesn’t describe me fully enough.

For example, autism effects those with it so differently that you’d need a massive sample size to get a list of traits to define it, and even then there would be plenty of individuals on the spectrum who don’t match those criteria in quite the same way.

Asperger’s helps narrow things down a bit as a descriptor. As for a general messages, representation matters.

Autistic people can be more than just comedy relief nerd characters and no two people on the spectrum are the same. There are negatives, certainly; I myself have many sensory issues and difficulty understanding other people or imagining what’s going on in their heads. However there can also be great benefits.

When I like something, like World of Warcraft, or dinosaurs, or marine life, or Five Nights at Freddy’s, I can retain a near encyclopedic knowledge of it (these are known in autistic circles as “special interests”). The benefits of this knowledge are self apparent in my case.

Also there’s empathy. I can’t speak for everyone on the spectrum (again, they’re all completely different) but my issues with understanding other people can lead to both a lack of and great empathy for others.

Since I have difficulty imagining what’s going on in someone else’s head, I can only imagine other’s situations and feelings in regards to how I would feel in their place.

So, while I may have trouble with the definition of empathy, it makes me an extremely empathetic person.

Recall

Hope For the Future

Never accept the world as it appears to be. Dare to see it for what it could be. — Harold Winston

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Jeff Kim

Jeff Kim

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