Top 10 Video Game Controversies of 2016

4. Tracer’s sexualized pose in Overwatch

overwatch-tracer-victory-poseThere is no doubt that Overwatch, the multiplayer online game by American outfit Blizzard, is already a massive success, as the game has over 10 million players the world over. And the game’s popularity is clearly in part due to its colourful roster of characters, featuring the likes of the ninja warrior Genji, the hard-hitting Nordic turret expert Torbjorn and the teleporting soldier Tracer.

But even before its release Overwatch sparked controversy concerning one of Tracer’s victory poses, as one upset user complained that this pose (pictured) reduced Tracer to a “bland female sex symbol”. And the truth is that the current trend in western video games is to desexualize female characters (as game creators Crystal Dynamics did with Lara Croft in their last two Tomb Raider games) and Tracer’s silly, sexual pose perhaps did not feel right for what is a strong, independent female heroine. In the end though, Blizzard gave in to the pressure and gave Tracer a new victory pose (see below), even if it could be argued that this whole affair was mostly a case of too much ado about nothing.