Five Wise Lessons from Overwatch's #RoadRat Ship
As Triple-A games go, Overwatch has done a fairly decent job of introducing a diverse and interesting cast, across gender, sexuality and mental health spectra.
As well as Tracer's lesbian relationship, the designers have said that a number of other Overwatch characters are LGBT. We look forward to in-canon confirmations of these as time goes on. For now, though, let's turn to the most important (not-quite-yet-canon) homosexual relationship in the game: that between Roadhog and Junkrat (codenamed "RoadRat").
RoadRat is a fairly popular "ship" amongst the Overwatch fandom. The two work closely together in lore, having both taken part in the assault on JunkerTown amongst other things. They're the only two Australian characters, too.
So, what can we learn from our rag-tag pair of Aussie miscreants? Let's dive right in.
5. Opposites Attract
Junkrat is frenetic, flighty, and fantastical.
Roadhog is silent, grounded, and pragmatic.
Is it any wonder they get on so well? Our dynamic duo keep each other sane (well, as sane as possible under the circumstances) by providing the foil to the other's personal foibles. And as we know from physics, the stronger the difference, the greater the attraction.
It's also refreshing to see a quiet character in a game for a change. All too often, the shy characters in games still yammer away about how shy and reluctant they are. Finally, Roadhog is proving that quiet characters can still be strong and have tons of character.
4. Body Positivity All the Way
It's no secret that Roadhog is the biggest character in bodily terms. It's refreshing that he is happy to share that fact proudly. He rarely covers up his belly, and he uses his weight to his advantage in combat rather than a hindrance. In a world where there are few large characters portrayed in video games, it's a good thing that Blizzard chose to offer a character who's not afraid of sharing who they are.
Again in sheer contrast, Junkrat is wiry, skinny and hunchbacked. He also only has one full leg, having lost half of his right leg (and arm) in... well, something explosive probably. How often do you see someone with bad posture in a video game (besides a depressed Sim)? Not often. He's also 6'6 tall. As a 6'5, wiry, skinny and hunchbacked humanoid myself, I might identify slightly too much with him. Oh well.
3. Money Can't Buy Love
Our lovebirds were not wealthy. They live(d) on a junkyard; their weapons are built from recycled parts and random scraps. Roadhog's ultimate literally fires chewed up rubbish at people. Then they went and stole a buttload of gold, jewels and other treasures from all over the world. And guess what? They were together before, and together afterwards too.
After all, Roadhog was never in it for the money anyway - he was just looking for an excuse to beat up some henchmen.
2. Ditch the Five Year Plan
Roadhog and Junkrat have no idea what they're going to be doing after breakfast, let alone months or years down the line. They go where the wind takes them - and by the wind, I mean the smell of fresh gold to grab and people to pummel.
Categorical proof that planning for the future is an exercise in futility. Everything worked out fine for them, in the end. What makes you so special?
1. Sometimes, People Fight
Finally, here's the real sad thing. In spite of all the relationships characters have in Overwatch; in spite of the alliances and treaties; sometimes people will just have to fight each other. In the case of Junkrat and Roadhog, that ends up being most of the time. They'll hurt each other over and over again.
But you know what? In the end, they're all okay. Junkrat and Roadhog will settle down with a nice pot of Vegemite and a TimTam, and enjoy what's left of their mad lives.
Because whatever life throws at them.... it'll probably be a blast.
Images in this article are courtesy of Blizzard, Daxratchet, and others.
Alex is the technical lead at Rainbo. You can contact him directly on Twitter or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.