LGBT Representation in Blizzard’s Overwatch


Rain Wiggins, Writer

LGBT representation isn’t anything new to video games but recently, Blizzard’s Overwatch published a comic titled “Bastet”, and this led to Soldier: 76, Jack Morrison’s, past.  Former sniper, Ana comes across an injured soldier she knew and took him to her hideout.  She found an image of Jack and a dark-haired man named Vincent.

Soldier: 76 was confirmed gay on January 7th and people aren’t too thrilled about it.  Jack isn’t the first hero to be confirmed LGBT, though. In December 2016, Tracer, the face of Overwatch, was confirmed to be in a lesbian relationship with her girlfriend through a comic titled “Reflections”.  Though only 2 of 29 heroes are LGBT, people are not very happy with the game’s developers, saying they feel it’s too forced, too sudden, or just unnecessary.

Even though people will argue that this is just to keep the game alive and relevant, Polygon found that in Tracer’s comic, Jack is seen staring at the same picture Ana looks at in “Bastet”.  This means they must have planned this before publishing it at all and people shouldn’t accuse them of trying to do this.  

Though representing LGBT in video games may seem new and weird to most, it’s important to know that they’ve been around for a long time.  In 1986 the computer game Moonmist came out and had a woman angry with her female partner. Another example is Super Mario Bros. 2’s, Birdo is transgender.  In the original game manual, it states, “He thinks he’s a girl… he’d rather be called Birdetta.”

A lot of games have those moments where you question if they are LGBT or not.  A good thing Overwatch is doing with their LGBT heroes is breaking stereotypes where you wouldn’t be able to tell whether or not they actually are gay or straight.  Believe it or not, Soldier: 76 is far from a stereotypical feminine gay man, he’s a strong soldier that lives to serve what he believes in. People were fairly upset when they discovered the fact that he was gay because he wasn’t their cliche gay and wouldn’t know if he was gay if Blizzard hadn’t brought it up.  

Representation in video games and other forms of social media matter and people don’t really understand why.  When the LGBT is represented without being too flashy or stereotypical, it’s very satisfying to those in the community because they probably grew up being told that being LGBT was wrong or weird.  LGBT representation matters because it shows children or teenagers that they aren’t weird or disgusting for being themselves and loving who they love.

Overwatch is very good at being diverse and accepting people of different race, size, shape, sexuality, and gender.  The backlash may be bad but Overwatch still doing their thing and are continuing to come out with new bits and stories.  What do you think of Jack Morrison’s sexuality? Do you find it to be good or just unnecessary? Do you think we need more information on Soldier: 76’s history?