If You Aren't Playing Overwatch, You Are Seriously Missing Out

When you hear the word "video game," what immediately pops into your head? Odds are, it's probably some kind of game where a big, bulky, white guy who kind of talks like Sylvester Stallone (but not really) enters a war zone/zombie apocalypse/bank robbery and shoots everything up. While video games are changing--female protagonists like Lara Croft, Samus Aran and Bayonetta are becoming more and more common--the main character in a video game tends to be that big white guy, while women are often shuffled to the sidelines.

Enter Overwatch, a player-vs-player (PvP) first-person shooter where people choose a character and compete in teams of six to fulfill a certain objective, which is usually defending or attacking a point. Why is this game so much of a stand out compared to other online games? Why are people beginning to choose it over games like League of Legends, (League) another online game where teams compete against each other to capture an objective?

Honestly, it's pretty simple: while both Overwatch and League feature diverse characters, Overwatch stands out in a clear way: all of its characters have roots in real-world countries, meaning that players can--and do--play characters that look like them or share the same background as them. Additionally, all of Overwatch's female characters--in comparison to League's characters--represent all different shapes, sizes, and histories in comparison to League's traditional beauty standards.

Look at Zarya, for instance. She's a friggin' Russian weightlifter, and while she appears super-masculine at first, one of her emotes is her hugging a teddy bear so hard it actually bursts. She might be mean, but she's a big old softie. Maybe also look at Ana or Moira. Both of them are older women (the lore states that Ana is 62--making her the oldest character in the game--and Moira is 48) but both of them are incredibly accomplished, and both remain the top picks for many players. Additionally, look at their appearances: Ana is an Egyptian woman with white hair and an eyepatch, while Moira looks incredibly like David Bowie. But it works. People are choosing characters like Ana and Moira over characters who fit more traditional beauty standards like Mercy.

Not to mention, the face of Overwatch is an out lesbian, Tracer, while two other popular female characters are South Korean gamer, D.Va, and the cute cow-like robot, Orisa. Plus, the game also features an autistic woman, Symmetra. Not to mention, the game is as fun as hell to play.

So, why not try it out? Maybe you'll fall in love with Mei, the Chinese climate scientist. Or perhaps, the Mexican hacker, Sombra, is more your speed? Whatever character you choose to play, Overwatch provides a diverse crew of characters that ensure that no matter what you look like or where you're from, you'll always find a character you'll fall in love with.

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