Opinion: Let’s talk about D.Va’s police skin

Blizzard, as part of their attempt to bring new life to their addition to the MOBA genre Heroes of the Storm, has launched what they call “Nexus Challenge 2.0”, an event that gives players rewards for playing the game with friends.

Said rewards also unlocks content for Overwatch, which includes a legendary skin for the character of D.Va

The character of Hana Song (Also known as “D.Va”) is from The Republic of Korea (also known as South Korea). She is a worldwide famous professional gaming superstar (for reference, the “Hollywood” map includes the poster of a movie starring her) who joins the army and uses her gaming skills to pilot her MEKA.

As a concept, she is a reference to South Korea’s  strong gaming community. Blizzard’s own “Starcraft” is particularly popular in the country, after all.

Her newest Skin (An entirely cosmetic element of the game that doesn’t affect gameplay) has her wearing what is clearly the uniform of the Korean National Police.

It is possible it is also a reference to Patlabor, classic japanese series about the mundane lives of police officers who just happen to use Mechas, but that is not important.

 

What is important is that some people take it as a reference of the Black Lives Matter movement and Police Brutality, believing Blizzard is glorifying police brutality by having her shoot people while wearing a police uniform.

Forgetting for a moment that her backstory is that she is a soldier (meaning that, depending of the character, she is shooting civilians), I want to repeat that her skin is specifically referencing the police force belonging to South Korea. It is, quite literally, no different than Mei’s firefighter skin.

Btw, she looks adorable

It is a skin meant to reflect D.Va’s own culture and society. It is also honoring a group that has as much to do with the Black Lives Matter movement as with that little incident of a bunch of rich kids getting scammed into suffering a tormentous camping experience (Also known as the average camping experience).

To pretend that D.Va wearing the uniform of the police of Korea is somehow supporting the cases of police brutality in the united states is American Centrism. It is the pretense that the problems of the United States and their worldview is an universal. The United States has a Police Brutality problem? Then it is everyone’s business. Everyone must condemn police everywhere, otherwise you are the same as the people who tries to justify police officers shooting a black kid for the crime of walking home. It sure as hell assume that the police is the same everywhere.

Or maybe it is the assumption that the skin is supposed to appeal to western players. It is not.

But even if that was not the case, why shouldn’t media show the police in a positive light? not as some infallible group that is never wrong (*coughcoughBlueBloodscoughcough*), but rather as a bunch of people that not only reocgnize the problems within, but also try to improve (Brooklyn 99).

I will not say “it is just a skin”, but i will say that it is not about you. D.Va is not glorifying the Police Brutality in the United States, she is simply giving people a glimpse of South Korea and what it looks like.

considering how people did not seem to understand that, it’s probably all the more important that she has that skin.

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