The Overwatch kid who challenged ageist stereotypes

The stereotype is that kids are raucous in competitive online games. Switch that chat off before you’re verbally assaulted for being rubbish, Granddad. But what if the slipper were on the other foot and it were actually kids being targeted and pushed around – and simply for sounding young?

“The first time I ever felt ‘harassed’ was when I made a simple callout about someone switching to a hitscan DPS so that we could help counter a Pharah, and the person got so mad at me they said they would track me down and kill me.”

That’s a 13-year-old Overwatch player called Razy, talking to me in an email.

“Recently I have been feeling as if I show any emotion (happy or even confusion) people get mad at me as if I did something to them.”

He’s been on the receiving end of adults throwing their weight around, and it was one incident after another that pushed him into appealing to the 610,000 subscriber-strong Overwatch subreddit – and causing quite a stir when he did.

In his post, titled “Children Playing Overwatch. My Thoughts,” he wrote:

“People are constantly yelling at mainly me and my friend for we have squeaky voices. We tend to say sorry about our voices before the match starts… the problem is people take this as an excuse and yell at us with things such as, ‘What are you 10? Stop playing Overwatch f*.’ Or, ‘Dang if only we didn’t have a pack of f***** eight-year-olds.’

“It’s starting to get annoying and I feel all of my matches since i got near Diamond [competitive tier] have become a scream-fest on why I shouldn’t be playing the game.”