Not a particularly clear point to be made with today’s post, but this is something that’s been fascinating me, so I thought it was worth discussing in brief.
Blizzard appears to have somehow stumbled upon some magic formula of character design with Tracer, the poster girl for their upcoming Overwatch.
Everyone loves Tracer. Go anywhere where there’s a discussion of Overwatch, and you’ll find no shortage of excitement and enthusiasm for her. There’s already fierce anticipation of her launch in Heroes of the Storm (which will ironically have her playable by the general public in Heroes before her own game).
I’m not immune either. I made sure to bank at least fifteen thousand gold so I can buy her in Heroes immediately upon release, and it has a lot less to do with her playstyle or unique designs as it does with oh my God Tracer! *Flailing*
And even being swept along in this tide myself, I’m hard-pressed to explain it. I don’t understand why I, let anyone else, is so excited about this cocky time-warper.
We’ve seen almost nothing of her. The enthusiasm around her springs from little more than a single cinematic released sometime ago. Most of us haven’t played Overwatch, and even if we had, it’s not a game that really allows for a lot of character development.
I can even think of a few good reasons not to like Tracer. Her voice acting is what I’m going to generously call less than ideal, for instance. Her dialogue tends to be spectacularly corny.
And yet here we are.
Personally I really enjoy her powers. There’s a definite cool factor to her lightning quick fighting style and ability to treat time and space as her plaything.
I also know a lot of people find her attractive (I’m not exactly immune to her charms myself). Which is kind of ironic because she’s certainly not the archetypical video game babe; Blizzard made a point to not sexualize her the way they often do with their female characters.
It really goes to show you how pointless the demeaning over-sexualization of female video game characters is. People are going to drool over them regardless — and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everybody wins.
But video games are not short of characters with awesome powers or sexy women, and yet Tracer nonetheless stands out. So we’re back to Blizzard apparently having stumbled across some magic formula of character design that instantly and fundamentally appeals to people.
I don’t understand it. I can’t explain it. But it’s clearly there.