Doomfist: Overwatch Portrays Black Men as Villains

The massively successful murder simulator “Overwatch” has added a new villain to its roster, and, of course, he’s a black male.

For those who didn’t know, Overwatch is a video game developed by the same producers of the popular “World of Warcraft,” video game. Overwatch was the company’s attempt to cash in on the “first person shooter” genre, a specific variety of video games intended to educate young men on gun handling to promote the normalization of gun violence.

Featuring a variety of characters, Overwatch is not, on the surface, much to be upset about. However, upon closer inspection, one may notice a variety of problematic traits that this game has ingrained into its core. The reader may have heard a number of controversies surrounding this video game’s blatant misogyny, for instance. The ads for the video game feature the white female “Tracer” posing in a variety of oversexualized and unnatural poses. Like all of the game’s women, Tracer is nothing more than a shallow marketing gimmick, with the company even endorsing lesbian-themed fan fictions, normalizing their fans’ gross fetishization of women.

The game also sparked global outrage for its sexual depiction of the Hindu goddess Devi as an unlockable “skin” to be attached to the femme character “Symmetra,” leading to religious leaders calling for the feature to be removed. Showing disregard for the sanctity of Hinduism, however, the producers of Overwatch carried on in their Hinduphobia by further promoting Symmetra as a sexual object, and the skin of a goddess to be purchased as a commodity.

As if this wasn’t enough, Blizzard, the company behind Overwatch, has decided to enter a new realm of bigotry. Embracing the racism of the gamer demographic, Overwatch will now feature an evil black man named “Doomfist” for players to simulate murdering. “Doomfist” (obvious sexual implications aside) is problematic namely for his association with the in-game evil organization known as “Talon,” which consists entirely of minorities. In the game, Talon stands in the way of the white paradise sought by the heroes of Overwatch, including the figurehead “Soldier 76,” a white male whose promotional advertisement featured him hunting down and murdering Mexicans. Now leading Talon is an evil black male, whose special abilities include a series of racially implicit jump attacks.

Blizzard has refused to comment on the racism they are normalizing in this character. We at Medusa can only hope others will see the obvious bigotry enveloping the creation of this character, and that video game companies will stop attempting to profit off of the hatred of women and people of color.

For more news on culture and #theresistance, stay tuned to Medusa Magazine!

Nicole Valentine

Worship Leader for the Progressive Women's Christian Ministry at my college, intersectional feminist, dedicated to Jesus and the progressive movement as a whole! Also an advocate for AAPI rights as a woman of color! Jesus, women, and progress: basically my life! White men need not contact.