Over the years we’ve seen many a debate about women being represented unfairly in video games. For example male characters wearing an armor might look really intimidating and impressive, but when the same armor piece is worn by female characters, suddenly it becomes really skimpy.
Blizzard has been partially guilty about that in the past but it is something they are hoping to change. Over the weekend you might have heard about Blizzard’s latest IP – Overwatch, which is a team-based FPS game. Speaking during BlizzCon, Blizzard’s Chris Metzen revealed that with the game, they are trying to present more a diverse and less overly sexualized group of characters than they did in the past.
According to Metzen, “We’ve heard our female employees and my daughter tools me out about it. 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.’” He later adds, “Specifically for Overwatch over the past year we’ve been really cognisant of that, trying not to oversexualize the female characters. I don’t know if we oversexualize the male characters. But it’s something we’re very sensitive to. We want that to be part of who we are, what our brand is.”
So what is Blizzard trying to achieve then? Metzen sums it up by saying, “We want girls to feel kick-butt. Equally represented,” which was echoed by Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan, “We want everyone to feel kick-butt!”