Blizzard Removes and Replaces Noose Spray in Overwatch

In yet another removal of questionable customization content from an Activision game, it appears that Blizzard has removed the cowboy McCree’s “Noose” emote spray from Overwatch and replaced it after a patch that went out yesterday for the Maestro Sigma Challenge event. It was replaced with an upside-down horseshoe that says “Bad Luck.” This comes after other changes in Activision-published games, such as the “okay” hand gesture being removed from both Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare, as well as the renaming of a skin poorly portraying race relations at the border between the United States and Mexico from Warzone. The change to the “Noose” spray was not officially made known in the Overwatch patch notes.

While the noose spray is part of the “wild west cowboy” aesthetic that McCree has going on, it’s one of many sprays and emotes rife for abuse by the less than mature and sensitive player base of Overwatch. After all, we’re talking about the same people who thought it would be hilarious to use Brigitte’s “kneel” emote while wearing her police riot gear skin whenever they eliminate an opposing Black character. The forums are currently full of people defending the noose spray, saying that it is a movie reference and part of McCree and that players shouldn’t be “punished” because it has the potential to be used badly. That said, if the two other changes and removals from Activision games are any indicator then it isn’t a matter of if, but when these things will be used to target and abuse others.

And that’s the thing about this kind of content: Bad faith arguments are always going to seem sound and harmless, but it doesn’t change the fact that players simply cannot be trusted to not do stupid, hurtful things when given the chance to on their anonymous, public forum of a video game. If players can’t stop teabagging then they certainly don’t need access to imagery of a noose.

Now if Blizzard could just do something about the complete lack of a useful chat filter instead of worrying about folks spamming “gg ez” after a match.