Overwatch

Overwatch players call on Blizzard to ban racist slurs in text chat

by Michael Gwilliam
Blizzard Entertainment

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Fans of Blizzard’s hit hero shooter Overwatch are speaking up on social media, demanding the company start censoring racial slurs in the game’s text chat just like it has done with banning the phrase “ggez.”

Since Overwatch’s release, slurs and obscene language has been allowed in text chat, much to the confusion of many players. While the slurs can result in bans through reports, Blizzard hasn’t gone out of their way to outright censor the language.

What makes this even stranger is that expression “ggez” was changed to several pre-made messages such as “Great game, everyone!” and “Wishing you all the best.”

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So, while it’s clear that Blizzard can completely remove certain words or even replace them, slurs have remained unchecked.

Now, players on the Competitive Overwatch subreddit are speaking up and demanding that the company take action.

Overwatch's D.va flips in the air
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch censors the term "ggez."

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“Hey Blizzard could we get [racist slur] banned in text chat maybe?” Eyud29 posted. “Seems like a decent idea. Don’t think it’ll affect comms. Could even ban people posting it. Ban [homophobic slur] too, while you’ve got the window open.”

While many users agreed that the words should be banned, others favor “reporting” the comments instead, suggesting that people will just find workarounds.

“While reporting is the obvious next step, that doesn't mean we should have to be exposed to that kind of garbage to begin with,” Square-Screen wrote.

Soldier 76 and Widowmaker run up steps on Hanamura
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard devs are known to frequent and reply to posts on Reddit.

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“Particularly when they already have a system in place that filters ‘ggez’ that's been there since literally day one.”

At the time of this posting, Blizzard has yet to respond to the thread, but its developers have been known to frequent that particular subreddit and comment on posts, so it’s likely that it will be seen. The only question is: what will they do about it?