Russia blocks Overwatch comic over gay character


An Overwatch comic which features a gay character is blocked in Russia.

The graphic novel, which is a spin-off of Blizzard’s first person shooter, is normally available in several countries on the game’s website.

In the latest issue one of the heroes, Tracer, kisses another girl called Emily.

However it’s unavailable in Russia with a message reading “in accordance with Russian law we cannot share this comic”.

The issue is unavailable in Russia

Image caption The issue is unavailable in Russia

Back in 2013 Russia passed a law stopping “gay propaganda” being available to under-18s.

Although homosexuality is legal in the country, the authorities are allowed to block access to websites deemed to promote it.

In 2015 they even moved to ban emojis which showed same-sex couples kissing.

The tenth issue of the Overwatch comic is largely a festive tale, based around Tracer’s attempts to get a present for her flatmate Emily.

Tracer - a character in Overwatch

Image caption Tracer in the original game

It’s hinted that they’re more than friends, though, as the couple share a kiss once they’ve exchanged gifts.

Many gamers on Twitter have welcomed Overwatch’s first LGBT character.

But the full message on the website in Russia reads: “In accordance with Russian legislation, we are unable to share this comic with our players in Russia”.

Overwatch

It’s not the first time the game has caused controversy.

Just after it was released in May, Blizzard had to take down Overwatch themed porn from several sites.

The company says it supports and encourages users to create and share their own artwork and videos but it has clear guidelines – and porn is not ok.

It was also criticised for its “over the shoulder” victory pose, which accentuates anything but the shoulder.

They have since removed the pose from the game.

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