i’d like to take a moment to thank the year 13’s that organised our house’s drama competition entry last year because no matter what happens tomorrow night there’s literally no way for us to get worse than double last place like they did and that fact is extremely comforting to me
So, I’ve been an Overwatch player for the entirety of its existence - a year and six months (time flies wow). And during this time, I’ve noticed many things about the fandom, some good and some bad. Are we allowed to critique the game? Fuck yeah! I could go on all day about how absurd it was that OW didn’t have a proper discipline system in place upon release (consoles had NOTHING AT ALL for months). I could tell you how I feel the writing is disorganised and how they release character lore in a messy way or that their balancing of characters play wise could be so much better. There is much that you can critique.
But today, I’m not going to do that.
Recently, there has been an absence of thanks. The players and fandom alike have made many posts and words complaining about many things, but two words seem the hardest to type. I’m writing this because this thank you is a personal one. Some may scoff, but you’re welcome to - it won’t deter me in the slightest.
I’m on the autistic spectrum (diagnosed with Asperger’s, before the change of the DSM IV into the DSM V, by a private clinical psychologist because the local councils couldn’t be bothered with me, but I disgress) and, as many of us know all too well, we don’t get looked at much. We have a presence in this world that is often unfavourable to lots of people - but the times ARE changing, even if those are small changes.
One of these changes happened last year - and for me, it’s one of the most hardhitting. It was a huge thing that happened so quickly, I’m not sure people really understood WHAT had happened.
Symmetra appeared in my life.
I know, I know. This is probably a strange statement to make, and possibly an overdramatic one, but please read. I’ll do my best to explain.
Symmetra is a support character in Overwatch, one often criticised for being too powerful or not really a support character etc. She basically lasers people to death and is a highly accomplished architect working for a morally corrupt company in the OW lore. She’s very beautiful (personal opinion there, lol).
And she’s like me.
To understand this a little better, you must realise that autistic people have little exposure in the media. There are a few story books about us, some TV shows and movies with us in, I guess. But many of these are often riddled with dramatic stereotypes, played up into almost a Greek tragedy. You know, the usual Hollywood touch. And video games…Christ, I’ve NEVER played a game with an autistic character. I may have missed one or two, it’s true.
But Symmetra appeared.
Symmetra - in one of the most popular video games on the planet as I speak. The Overwatch team, without prompting, without complaining, delivered to me (to US) one of the best autistic characters I have ever witnessed. You can call me biased, that’s cool. But she is.
She’s not a stereotype. She’s not an “autistic baby uwu” or an “emotionless robot who will never feel love”. She’s not a “burden”.
She’s a human being. She’s someone you could talk to at work or in the street. She’s a successful (famous even, if you are eagle-eyed like me and saw her on a magazine cover in Reflections), compassionate human being who is morally complex and in a human dilemma. She’s not perfect, she’s even morally flawed herself.
And God, I adore her. I could have cried the moment she was confirmed for sure as autistic.
I imagine some people will say “pfft, pandering at work”. I suppose if you’re used to seeing yourself in a positive light in media, then you don’t really think about those who aren’t. You don’t think about those you never see, or rarely see.
I had no idea this was coming. Many in my position will confirm this. The Overwatch team decided this on their own and handed her to us on a golden platter with all the grace they could - and it shows. Even now, I have tears in my eyes, because they treated this so well. They write her far better than the actual fandom do - that’s astonishing (and frustrating at times too). She is fun for me to play too (again, personal opinion as I understand people have their likes and dislikes).
And you want to know the funny thing? For a fandom to claims to love and want more diversity, I barely saw ANYTHING about this. I saw at most three or four things here about this mark in history. The fandom just…ignored it. And for the most part, they still do. I don’t really have any grudge against this, but it made me wonder.
I’m overjoyed though.
I’m delighted that they wrote her as a human being. I’m delighted she is fun to play and that she exists at all. This means the world to me and more - I can’t say everything in my heart and mind, because I’m not sure I can describe it all.
But I can say two words.
Thank you, Overwatch, for caring when so few people did (and presently don’t). Thank you for looking me dead in the eye, pointing to Symmetra and saying “You are here. You are human and you are worthy of existence.” Thank you for giving me some courage and compassion when I was having a rough time. Thank you for showing me my struggle with the world and with my Asperger’s has been worth it.
And I hope I’m saying this on behalf of others like me too.
Thank you - thank you for doing this. You’ve made a difference.
Hey sis! So i was scrolling after a few months away from tumblr and i saw you post about deleting this blog as you dont think it does anything for anyone anymore. And if u need to do that i get it. But please , please know how much u helped me! Your blog exposed to soft and tender darkskin black girl glamour!! And being yourself and being strange and bold and goodness so much more.i guess i just want to say thanks!! So much. So much. 💖💖💖