Content Warning: This message contains descriptions of sexual assault.
A user-created Overwatch 2 mode that simulates sexual assault reappeared in the game’s custom game browser and was one of the most popular modes for some.
I checked yesterday that the unique code to play the mode works and contacted Blizzard. The code no longer works as of today, but I have yet to hear anything from Blizzard about what, if anything, they intend to do to prevent the mode from returning to Overwatch.
Sexual Harassment Simulator, an updated version of the mode players found in October (opens in new tab), tasks a player with impregnating Overwatch 2’s female heroes. As Cassidy, a player is instructed to throw heroes like Mercy to the ground and repeatedly crouch on her body. The mode says “Rape…” at the top of the screen until the female heroine is marked as “pregnant” and instructed to wait for the birth of the baby, portrayed as an AI-controlled Torbjorn.
In the description, the mode is credited to the same creator as the original mode, “Amatsuh Icon on YouTube”. I had found a YouTube channel by that name last year – with a few Overwatch-related videos on it – but it seems to be gone now.
The new mode has been played enough to appear on the game’s popular page, the first thing you see when you enter the custom game browser. Reddit user Joyolo13 (opens in new tab) posted a screenshot of it on the game’s subreddit. I haven’t been able to see the mode in my favorite section on the North American Overwatch 2 servers, but it seems that auto-curation varies by region. An Overwatch 2 player in Sweden confirmed to me that it was on his popular side and said it was on his partner’s as well.
Anyone with the unique code can lobby for the mode. You can search for it in the custom game browser using words like “simulator,” but it’s not always available and doesn’t always have the same title.
Overwatch 2’s custom game browser tends to have modes marked as “18+” and some claim to be for erotic roleplay, but in the five years the browser has been around I’ve never had one Seen a mode as explicit as “sexual harassment”. Simulator.”
It doesn’t appear that Blizzard’s moderation tools automatically filter these words out of the title or description. You can report modes from their “abusive custom game text” information pages, but Blizzard doesn’t let you provide an explanation of how you can when reporting players.
When the mode surfaced late last year, Twitter user Lynn MBE posted a PSA to parents of children who might find the mode. Lynn said her son found the mode, “realized it was bad, closed the game and told me.” Popular comedian and Twitch streamer Brian “Limmy” Limond strengthened (opens in new tab) the PSA with his own screenshots of the mode, while pointing out how the game is “marketed to 12-year-olds.”
“Inappropriate or offensive content has absolutely no place in our game,” a Blizzard spokesperson told PC Gamer after we reached out to him about the mode last year. “We removed the user-created game mode immediately after being made aware of its existence. We’re continually working to improve automatic filters to prevent inappropriate user-generated content and manually remove any that aren’t caught by the system.”
Roblox’s (opens in new tab) The user-created game moderation was recently uncovered by a parent and a gaming industry veteran after spending six hours browsing the massive library of custom games. Despite having an age rating system, she watched “weird pedo stuff and bathroom voyeur play and suicidal idealizations” with no age limit and immediately deleted her children’s accounts.
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