The Overwatch 2 Pleasure occasion is now reside, and together with the affirmation that two extra heroes are queer and a set of themed participant banners and icons, Blizzard has reskinned an NYC-based map in order that it appears to be like prefer it’s set in the course of a Pleasure parade.
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However the map doesn’t simply have rainbow-colored walkways and LGBTQIA+ flags—it additionally, notably, doesn’t have cops. First identified in a video shared by Overwatch content material creator Niandra, the Pleasure model of the Midtown map has reskinned the cop automobiles parked in sure areas, turning them into nondescript SUVs.
Kotaku has independently confirmed that the police SUVs are actually painted a delicate blue-green moderately than sporting police colours, and different automobiles across the map have little Pleasure indicators on prime of them. Apparently, the official artwork launched by Blizzard for the Overwatch Pleasure occasion, which options all the official queer heroes on the Midtown Pleasure map, seems to have one of many unique cop automobiles within the background. Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for remark.
This can be a main transfer from the Overwatch workforce, because the presence of cops at Pleasure occasions has been an enormous level of rivalry for parade organizers and attendees. In 2021, New York Metropolis Pleasure banned police from marching within the parade till at the very least 2025, citing how the presence of officers can typically be “threatening, and at instances, harmful” to these in the neighborhood moderately than reassuring. Organizers additionally stated they might focus extra of the occasion’s funds on educated neighborhood responders and volunteers moderately than utilizing the New York Police Division for safety and security.
Picture: Blizzard / Kotaku
After NYC Pleasure made the announcement, different occasions throughout the US adopted swimsuit, banning police departments from formally marching of their parades.
The choice to reskin the cop automobiles was probably not made calmly, particularly when members of the Overwatch dev workforce labored onerous to have a “substantial” Pleasure occasion this 12 months, in keeping with a tweet from senior author and narrative designer Justin Groot.
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“No police at pleasure” is a motion inside the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood, one rooted within the 1969 Stonewall riots and the violence police enacted towards that neighborhood and spanning acts of police brutality towards marginalized people that also happen right now. “Pleasure ought to be protected and welcoming for all of us, however police participation excludes these of us with damaging experiences of police and policing,” reads the official No Police at Pleasure web site.
It’s nice to see Overwatch 2 quietly eradicating one thing that feels so antithetical to the essence of Pleasure, particularly because the recreation has continued so as to add cop skins for its characters regardless of protestations from gamers.