D.va’s Cop Costume in ‘Overwatch’ Sparks Outrage Over ‘Insensitivity’ Over Police Brutality

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 11:07 pm, April 27, 2017

It’s never a dull day around the Overwatch fandom. Many of Blizzard’s content updates for the game have been mired in social justice-related controversy—from the thiccness (or lack thereof) of Mei’s Chinese New Year outfit, to a vampire-themed skin that was deemed “whitewashing,” Overwatch is a game impure and not free of sin.

Officer D.va

The latest controversy stems from the addition of a special police-themed skin for the Korean tank hero, D.va. Players can acquire the new content, which allows her to dress like a Korean police officer and changes her mech into a blue cop-themed robot, by spending some time in Blizzard’s other game, Heroes of the Storm.

For some, the addition of “Officer D.va” is an inconsiderate reminder of police brutality in the United States and a reflection of the game developer’s lack of sensitivity towards contemporary social issues like Black Lives Matter.

Outraged progressives have taken to complaining about the character’s new, and completely optional design. Some of them drew artwork of her in a #BlackLivesMatter t-shirt as a form of protest.

“Please tell me this is fake. I don’t want to have to switch to a new main [character],” wrote a Tumblr user named transbian-noctis.

“Why would you do this to my daughter,” wrote another user named lesbiangender.

Of course, not everyone is unhappy with D.va’s new job as a police officer. Many fans have been more than eager to draw pictures of Hana Song in her new outfit. Korean gamers certainly love it. After all, they’re getting some good in-game representation with the character, who is a native Korean.

Mic.com, the social justice website funded by wealthy Harvard alumni, wrote to complain about the new skin by echoing the cries of Tumblr progressives, calling Blizzard’s depiction of D.va as a cop an entrance into “potentially fraught territory. “

“After all, law enforcement has been the subject of a massive nationwide movement – Black Lives Matter – that seeks to end racial discrimination at the hands of police and roll back the increasing militarization of police forces,” Mic’s Tim Mulerkin claims. “Therefore, for some, turning the typically carefree and sprightly D.Va into what’s become a symbol of brutality and racism doesn’t make much sense.”

It’s not an argument that makes much sense when you consider the fact that “Overwatch” as an organization is a global law enforcement/peacekeeping agency within the game’s canon. So, most of the characters in Overwatch are police officers, of a sort.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.