April 24, 2017

FAIL: Women's college launches eSports program for Overwatch because the game has “strong female characters”

Mike GwilliamRebel Columnist

Competitive video games are continuing to grow in popularity and legitimacy, with even ESPN providing coverage to eSports.

As such, many colleges have formed teams and leagues to compete in. And now, Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri has announced a varsity esports program – even with scholarships.

According to ESPN, The Stars will field an Overwatch team starting in Fall 2017 that will compete in the Tespa series.

Why Overwatch? The school's website says it's, “because of its diverse and strong female characters.”

Stephens College president Dianne Lynch told ESPN that the game meshed well with the college's mission. “Our mission is to ensure that women can succeed and can make choices about anything they do in any environment and in any profession,” she said.

Some could easily argue that choosing a game because of its female characters hurts both esports and Overwatch as legitimate competitions. The college is making feminism its deciding factor in choosing what game to compete in. It's really nothing more than an aesthetic value.

Of all the reason to choose Overwatch, such as its growing popularity and emphasis on teamwork, “strong female characters” shouldn't be one of them.

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