This is why we can’t have nice things
First of all: Egg on my face! I woke up yesterday and the first thing I saw was how Overwatch Pro Ellie was being mistreated online for being a woman. I got my jimmies all rustled about the blatant sexism ingrained into pro gaming culture coming out of the woodwork. Then this happened: In a post on TwitLonger, which I didn’t even know was a thing, Second Wind updated us on “Ellie”. Turns out, the people I called “conspiracy theorists” were right; they were right about almost everything. And no one likes when conspiracy theorists are right.
The above image is from the OverwatchTMZ sub-reddit, where much of the Ellie discussion took place. Though Second Wind, who was the team that recruited Ellie, did not actually reveal their true identity, streamer Aspen came forward with an inside scoop. Aspen claims that the Overwatch pro Punisher was in fact Ellie. Punisher was suspected as Ellie’s gaming hand and is a personal friend of Aspen. She says that Punisher created Ellie as a “social experiment” of sorts. This was to highlight the extra layer of difficulty that comes with being a woman in gaming culture.
As a concept, bringing to light the issues female gamers face for being female gamers is something I am super on board with. As I mentioned above, sexism is ingrained into gaming culture, and many other cultures for that matter. The last thing you want to do is give the sexist people on the internet more ammunition!
Boys Only Club 2.0
Full disclosure: Second Wind and Blizzard have not given us the official story. Aspen may be part of the con to fuel the fire. Who knows at this point? The fallout of this mess leaves us with the future. “Ellie” is going to be the flagship argument to de-legitimize women and non-binary people in gaming. If Punisher truly wanted to expose sexism in gaming culture, he has done it, kind of. In doing so, he has now created a new hurdle for female pro players to overcome.
What is your *new* take on this whole “Ellie” situation? If the story with Punisher and Aspen is true, do you think Blizzard should dish out their brand of justice? Let us know in the comments. And check out yesterday’s story on this and laugh with the power of hindsight.