Blizzard Entertainment rolled out a brand new patch for Overwatch this week that made one unannounced however noticeable change: McCree’s noose spray has been removed from the game. A brand new spray — a horseshoe with the textual content “Bad Luck” on it — has taken its place.
Many of McCree’s in-game sprays recall imagery from basic Western cinema, referencing Clint Eastwood classics like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and Hang ’Em High. And whereas many Overwatch sprays are innocuous or amusing to see in sport — who doesn’t love spraying that delicate, fluffy pillow behind the pinnacle of an opponent put to sleep by Ana’s tranq dart? — it wasn’t unprecedented for gamers to overlay McCree’s noose on different sprays, like portraits of different Overwatch heroes.
Blizzard didn’t announce the elimination of McCree’s noose spray; requested for remark Thursday morning, the corporate has not but responded.
The spray’s elimination comes at a time when firms are rethinking, remodeling, or eradicating racist imagery and insensitive content material in video games, motion pictures, TV reveals, and different media. That elevated consciousness and vigilance comes amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests towards police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police. The elimination additionally comes shortly after the deaths of two Black men by hanging in California, and the discovery of a noose in the garage of Black NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
It’s straightforward to see how a noose, a picture strongly linked with the lynchings of Black individuals in America, will not be appropriate and may be simply abused for racist causes in a sport like Overwatch — a sport that ostensibly strives for range and inclusion with its forged of heroes. And regardless of hand-wringing from some players claiming oversensitivity and censorship by Blizzard, it’s additionally straightforward to see why the corporate would need to take away this explicit spray.