One of the best things about video games is being able to take a character and, by controlling their actions, connect with them in a way that you can't through other media. This is why being able to see yourself represented by those characters is so important. Blizzard just took a major step toward helping an entire group of gamers better relate. In a brand new Overwatch comic, it was revealed that Tracer is gay.
Blizzard has published several comics online that help to delve deeper into many of the characters within the game. Since the game has no real campaign, the amount of information that we get behind any specific character is minimal within the confines of the game. Instead, additional info comes via short online movies or these comics. The new issue, Reflections, is a Christmas tale that focuses on the popular character of Tracer.
The story opens with Tracer using her power to race around London in an attempt to get to a store in time to buy a Christmas present. She gets delayed helping our some citizens who get robbed, which means she doesn't make it to the store in time. However, she receives a gift from the people she helped out which she, somewhat inadvertently, gives to her roommate Emily. It's in this moment we discover that Emily isn't just a roommate.
Emily isn't one of the Overwatch cast of characters, unless she's hiding behind a mask and we don't know it. She's just a person, but who she is to Tracer is of huge importance. Within the cast of Overwatch, we don't know the sexual orientation of most of the characters, who they sleep with isn't important to the game. This information doesn't change how Tracer plays, but for people within the LGBTQ community, this can be a big deal. This is a major AAA title with a main character, a quite popular one at that, who's gay.
While some games, most notably Bioware's recent RPGs, have given you the ability to make your character gay or straight, this may be the first major title where a developer simply has decided that one of the playable characters is gay. It's a great thing to see.
Tracer has been a popular character since long before Overwatch was a thing. She's the game's "cover athlete" so to speak, so it it isn't simply that one face in the crowd has come out, but actually the face of the game itself. It's exciting to see video games evolving to more closely match the diverse group of people that play them. Hopefully, this will only continue from here.