Overwatch's Tracer Debacle and Why We Need to Get Rid of the Non Sequitur Argument
As I'm sure you've heard by now (as somehow it's even a trending Facebook news story), the team behind Overwatch is removing a victory pose by Tracer in which she basically looks over her shoulder and puts her ass out. Or, to quote Mystery Science Theater 3000's Crow (in the amazing Space Mutiny episode) "she's presenting like a mandrill!" I won't go into all the details as we already have an article that breaks it down for you that's an interesting read.
You can probably guess by the first paragraph, I'm for the removal. Honestly, I found Tracer fascinating in the first commercial in which she saves those kids and seeing her turned into yet another object by game devs was a bit of a bummer. But it's my personal opinion. If you disagree that's fine. That's not why I'm writing this.
The reason I'm writing this is because one of the "pro-booty" arguments I've been seeing a ton of lately.
"So, it's alright for us to be shooting people in the face, but if a character wants to hint at sexuality that's too much?"
This is what's known as a non-sequitur argument. It compares two things with nothing to do with each other beyond the fact that they're in the same game. Is shooting people in the face worse than hinting at sexuality? Of course it is, don't be daft. But let's look at what else is in the game.
Is the fact that many of the stages have the characters playfully firing bullets and throwing explosives in areas people clearly live in worse than the fact that there's hints of sexuality? Of course.
Does the games message that goggles are some how going to be considered protective wear against bullets and explosives a good message compared to hints of sexuality? Debatable.
Is there something disturbing about people struggling so hard to keep a booty pose in a game strange compared to debating the various issues in the world that are begging for this level of attention? Yup.
A monkey? A booty? Seriously. Stop.
You can find things to weigh against it all night, but the fact of the matter is that a non-sequitur argument holds absolutely no weight. You're literally just picking something worse and comparing it to the issue you want to attack.
First off, we all know sexism is a massive problem in video games. It's incredibly obvious. If I need to explain it, I'll do it in another article, but it's something that's been covered ad nauseam because it's still there. Secondly, to invoke the argument that people fighting against sexism in gaming need to be, instead, worried about the violence portrayed in the games is an absolutely silly thing to say from someone who's actively playing and enjoying the game. This is logic is clearly being used as a smoke screen.
So, if you want to engage in this debate that's fine. I've seen decent points made on both sides, I've even seen a few pro-booty arguments that made me think and say, "not a bad point." But don't litter the threads with non-sequiturs. Please.