Overwatch 2 devs “can do better” after “sexual harassment simulator” mode

The Overwatch 2 devs have addressed the controversy surrounding a 'sexual harassment simulator' game mode in the Blizzard FPS game.

Overwatch 2 devs “can do better” after “sexual harassment simulator” mode
Published by Noah @ PC Game Spotlight a year ago

The Overwatch 2 devs respond to controversy

The Overwatch 2 devs have responded to a 'sexual harassment simulator' that sparked Controversy within the Blizzard FPS game, with the dev team stating that they can 'do better' to prevent such a mode from appearing in future.

The mode, which allowed players to create a game in which one player was tasked with 'harassing' the other in an effort to rack up points, was met with backlash for promoting inappropriate behaviour and creating a toxic environment.

The workshop mode, which allowed players to create custom game modes for other players to try, sparked the controversy when a player shared a screenshot of a mode named 'Pervy 17,' in which one player was assigned the task of 'harassing' the other for points.

The mode was met with outcry from many players, with some claiming that it was not only in poor taste but also promoted toxic behaviour. Some cited similar modes that had been created in games like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 as examples of why such a mode should not be allowed in Overwatch 2.

Blizzard has addressed the issue, expressing its commitment to creating a safe and inclusive community. 'We take incidents like this very seriously,' the developer said. 'This mode was not created by an Overwatch admin and we do not allow this type of gameplay in the game.'

The devs also noted that the workshop feature, which allows players to create custom game modes, has been a popular aspect of Overwatch 2. However, this incident has highlighted the need for better moderation and oversight.

'We know that this incident reflects negatively on the community and we take responsibility for that,' the devs said. 'We are actively working on improving our systems to prevent this from happening again.'

The devs also emphasized the importance of player feedback in addressing these issues. 'We appreciate your passion and dedication to Overwatch 2 and look forward to working with you to create a game environment that is enjoyable for everyone and free from harassment,' they said.

'If you encounter inappropriate content or behaviour, please report it,' the devs added. 'This will help us remove the offending content and take action against the players involved.'

While the 'sexual harassment simulator' may have been a step too far for some, it serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by developers in maintaining a safe online gaming space. It also highlights the responsibility of players to report and address inappropriate behavior – after all, it's up to players to keep each other in check.

You can find the full statement from the Overwatch 2 devs below:

This incident also comes at a time when we are beginning to see more discussion around the role of developers in preventing toxic behaviour in multiplayer games. It also highlights the challenges faced by developers in creating a truly inclusive and safe gaming community – and there's still work to be done.

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