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Portrayal of Mental Illness in Overwatch’s New Hero, Sigma

Overwatch, the hugely popular online video game, is no stranger to controversy in how it portrays its playable characters, also known as heroes. Blizzard, the company who makes and updates Overwatch, has included queer characters and disabled characters in its lore, but fails to bring their stories into the game itself. This led some players to question whether Blizzard is actually interested in inclusion or if they are looking to score points without putting the work in.

Then comes Sigma, the latest hero. He is portrayed as mentally ill due to experiments that “split” his mind. Included in his kit are sprays (basically in-game stickers) that show his medical charts, as well as a skin called “Asylum” that includes the stereotypical restraints of Hollywood-portrayed institutions. It seems Blizzard is bringing out-of-game lore into the game in big ways.

What do you think about this representation? Let us know in the comments, and take a look at some of the links down below for more discussion on the topic. I’ve also included Sigma’s origin story from the official Overwatch YouTube channel.

KOTAKU: Sigma’s New ‘Asylum’ Skin

TAKE THIS: On Sigma

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