Perhaps you have heard of the video game Overwatch. For the uninitiated, it is the game in which a bunch of delightful Pixar-esque superheroes murder the absolute shit out of each other with big guns and swords and ninja stars. That’s it, that’s the game. It’s a billion dollar industry at this point. It is played competitively on national television. Truly a time to be alive, this is.
I play Overwatch. I am not particularly good at playing Overwatch as it is literally the only video game I play (my friend gave me his old Xbox this year and it is the one game I bought for it), but I play it and I enjoy it and if you try to take that away from me my feelings will be deeply hurt. I love my blue murder sniper lady and the yee-haw twins and the jetpack cop with a proton cannon. They are my friends.
As you can imagine, I was quite excited when I saw the announcement for Overwatch 2 earlier this year. Like many other fans of the game I’m stoked to see where the game goes, which new characters are added, and if they finally give us a story mode. However, there’s more I want from Overwatch 2 than a few new player skins and a proper story to play through. I’ve put a great deal of thought over the last few weeks into what I think would make Overwatch 2 as great a game as possible for everyone but mostly for me. Here’s what I’ve got:
EVERYONE ON THE VOICE CHANNEL HAS TO BE NICE TO ME
A great woman once said, “Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days, everybody knows what, what I’m talkin’ bout, everybody gets that way.” Reader, I make mistakes often when playing Overwatch and oftentimes I am berated for it by strange children via the voice channel. It hurts me. It hurts me to be told that I “suck shit” and need to “stop playing like a little bitchass” by people who have never met me and don’t know that I’m actually really cool (I own two leather jackets and a Force FX lightsaber) and do not in any way suck shit. I cannot help it if engaging too directly in the game’s combat makes me nervous and yes, I know I’m not very good at playing as Widowmaker, we are in agreement on that but she is blue and cool and has a grappling hook so I am going to keep doing it.
I would posit that Overwatch 2 would be a more enjoyable video game experience for everyone if it were explicitly forbidden to say mean things to me in the voice channel. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that you aren’t allowed to talk shit because hey, I get it, talking shit is integral to the modern video game experience. I’m simply suggesting that it not be permitted for players to talk shit to me. I am trying my best and would encourage players to follow the golden rule: if you can’t say anything nice to me and me specifically don’t say anything at all but also please say nice things to me when I do good because I’m fueled by the validation of strangers.
A ‘HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES’ RULE
Sometimes when I’m playing Overwatch this thing happens where I very nearly get a perfect killshot lined up but then the player I’m trying to kill moves or my finger slips and suddenly a perfect kill turns into a waste of ammo. It’s frustrating! Effort has to count for something and I’ve always found it ludicrous that my efforts at being good at Overwatch aren’t better rewarded outside of my girlfriend disinterestedly muttering from across the room, “Huh? Oh, uh, you’ll get them next time.”
To remedy this I suggest a “horseshoes and hand grenades” rule, which is to say that if I only miss a shot by a certain small margin, the opponent takes damage anyway. Think of it as an incentive; if an opponent takes a little bit of damage when I do sort of kind of good, it will only motivate me to play even better and not miss my shot next time. I see zero downside to this rule being enacted and only want to clarify that I am the only player to whom it would apply – if you want to kill ME in Overwatch maybe you should play Overwatch better.
YOU CAN’T MAKE FUN OF ME FOR WHO I MAIN
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to speak to some classes at my old high school. There was a point where I was talking with about 150 students who were packed into the library and somehow the subject of Overwatch came up. I was asked who I main and when I told them I main Ashe a student informed me that, “Ashe sucks.” I stumbled, caught off guard by a teen wrecking me in front of over a hundred other teens, and stammered, “Well, I mean, I’m not very good, sometimes I play Bastion,” to which yet another teen yelled, “BASTION’S OVERPOWERED.” at which point my body collapsed like a dying star under the weight of my shame.
I recognize that taking a rule in a video game and trying to apply it to real life is likely impossible but the folks at Blizzard have worked their magic before and I’m sure they can find a way. As such, I’d like to suggest that it be fully illegal under federal law to make fun of me for who I main in Overwatch 2. If I would like to main the girl yee-haw twin because she has cool hair and throws grenades I should be able to do so without being subjected to public shaming. If I would like to compensate for my inability to play the game well by playing as a little robot who can fire approximately 10,000 bullets per second I am entitled to and will continue to do so and no teen may mock me for this.
Those who do shall be sentenced to play 1v1 with me for half an hour as Torbjorn.
MY ULTIMATE IS ALWAYS CHARGED
Ultimates in Overwatch are so rad, y’all. Whenever giant dragons cut through the playing field and just murk anyone and everyone in their path, often including me, I can’t help but think like, damn, what if the whole game was like this? And that’s dumb because if the whole game were like that every match I played would just be a constant loop of me dying and respawning because I’m bad at Overwatch.
The solution? My Ultimate is always charged. Everyone loves to watch a cool Ultimate pop off, especially if it’s one of their teammates using it. I’d wager that everyone would enjoy playing the game a little bit more if my Ultimate were always ready to go. For example, a great way to start a Payload game when you’re playing Defense is for the whole team to position itself strategically so that the group will be ready when the Attack team is released. An even better way to start a Payload game would be to have the jetpack cop rain hellfire from above the second the Attack team walks out the door and then once more when they respawn and try to walk out the door again. Can you say Play of the Game?
EVERYONE ON THE VOICE CHANNEL HAS TO BE NICE TO ME