An Ode to Overwatch, the Game That Is (Imitating) Life

By wilimsonn
Dec. 16, 2019

We’ve all heard that Overwatch 2 is in the works, and the world is holding their breath in anticipation. The epic P2P teamwork shooter is turning to a storyline game, and word on the street is that it will not disappoint.

With all these upcoming news and changes, we feel it’s time to look back at the game that started it all. Overwatch has made a mark in the world of online gaming, and, love it or hate it, it’s famous for a reason. Actually, several reasons!

So while we await the second installment, let’s reflect upon how the original game influenced our lives. We feel it has done so in three key ways — by imitating life, championing equality, and giving back.

overwatch touched a chord by doing what all art does — it imitated life. And while the world doesn’t exactly resemble this game’s universe, we can draw some uncanny parallels. We don’t need to tell you that there’s an Omnics-like disgruntled mass in the world that we created. Lord knows there are some Blackwatch-like groups around in real life that have taken “justice” into their own hands. Not to get political here, but all the best works draw their inspiration from somewhere!

The world, as we know it, has also been projected in the game so incredibly well. Since the entire globe is fighting the Omics, Blizzard really took their time to implement many detailed maps. One of those is called Hamanura, Japan. In case you were wondering, no, it’s not a real place, but quite a few people have looked it up! It feels real because it gives you all the feels. Their Shinto temples are on point, the Mount Fuji doppelganger in the background awakens your inner samurai, and the Arcade is so 80s.

So much detail went into recreating it, but it’s really those parts of human nature that resonate with the players. One team starts from the multi-level Arcade while they wait to go into battle.

This part of the map pays homage to games of chance with their claw machines and real-money slots. While none of the heroes actually play any of those, they do bang them up and break them. Really, don’t we all want to do that when playing the and not being on the winning team? Bread and games, as the ancient Roman poet said.

Apart from that human need for beauty, games, and senseless destruction, they’ve also stepped it up when it comes to gender equality. While both genders love their arcades, gambling, and their slot games that pay real money, they aren’t equally represented everywhere. The world is making strides, but it isn’t there yet, so maybe it could look up to Overwatch.

It’s a fact that online games are no longer just a boy’s playground, and nearly just as many female players are getting in on it. Far too many famous shooters propagate female characters as being weaker, or they just place them in supporting roles. Overwatch is rife with strong female characters, single-handedly propagating LGBTQ equality for anyone playing. Tracer is the game’s mascot hero and the first openly lesbian character in a mainstream game. Even the rough and tough Soldier:76 is known to have had a boyfriend who died in the war. So not only do they champion female empowerment, but they also celebrate homosexuality as well.

Finally, Overwatch gives back. If you’re in the know at all, you’ll remember how Pink Mercy’s skin raised over $12.5 million for breast cancer research. The company also sold accompanying Pink Mercy T-shirts for a solid price of $30, and they sold out in the blink of an eye! We’re sure that allowed lots of young people to let out a sigh of relief because they could finally justify their excessive gameplay to their parents. Knowing the world’s love of games of all sorts, we wouldn’t be surprised if the developers took some best online slots for real money and got people to play them for charity. Nothing would surprise us, and we applaud Blizzard for using games for the common good. If for no other reason, we pay homage to this game because they watch over real people as we relax and play Overwatch.

Blizzard has announced the sequel, and there are trailers and previews available already. We look forward to the new maps, new characters, and the PvP and PvE modes. But we’re most excited to find out how much Overwatch 2 will give back and affect our real life for the better!