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Blizzard "Trying Not to Oversexualize" Female Overwatch Characters

| 9 Nov 2014 16:49

Based on feedback from female employees and family members, Blizzard is trying to make its next IP more representative of all gamers.

Two days ago at BlizzCon, Blizzard announced a new IP in the form of team-based shooter Overwatch. During a press conference for the forthcoming PC game, designer Chris Metzen revealed one of the developer's goals for Overwatch: avoiding the hyper-sexualization of female characters.

According to Kotaku, Metzen said of the gender issue, "I think we're clear we're in an age where gaming is for everybody... Increasingly people want to feel represented from all walks of life, everywhere in the world. Boys and girls--everybody." As a result, Blizzard is "trying not to oversexualize the female characters" in Overwatch, a choice that was also influenced by the developer's female employees and Metzen's daughter. "She saw a World of Warcraft cinematic of the Dragon Aspects, and my daughter was like, 'Why are they all in swimsuits?' And I was like, 'I don't know. I don't know anymore.'"

This isn't to say that Overwatch--or any game--should cut out all female (and male, for that matter) characters with a hint of sexuality; but, in this era of boob-shaped armor and warrior women in metal bikini-esque outfits, "there's a lot of room for growth," as Metzen puts it. "We want girls to feel kick-butt. Equally represented." While admitting this is just the first step to a more representative and female-friendly industry, it's refreshing to hear about a major force in gaming making the effort.

Source: Kotaku

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