Thoughts about Symmetra

I was reading the recent Kotaku article regarding rampant Symmetra hate (“Overwatch’s Symmetra Mains Agree: The Problem Is Other Players”) and it occurred to me that surely unintentionally but very notably, Blizzard’s canonically autistic character seems to have aptly channeled the autistic experience of being unfairly maligned, misunderstood, outcast, constantly mocked, and seen as a burden.

While that’s certainly a coincidence, I wonder if there’s something that could have been done to prevent things from going down this path. But then again, I know sometimes it’s near impossible to know how players are going to react to trying out a new and different gameplay idea. Still, the culture around rejecting Symmetra as a character has gotten way out of hand and has become more than a little tone deaf. The broader context of how we’re treating a rare example of a canonically autistic character may not inform the motivation behind the Sym hate, but it’s something I think we could stand to examine.

There are players in the Overwatch League itself (such as ‘Effect’) who have participated in this kind of behavior toward Sym Mains. Casters in the Overwatch League happily joke that Symmetra isn’t a ‘real’ character and doesn’t exist. Do I consider this inherently ableist? No. But does it make me, an autistic fan who was beyond excited to learn about being able to see a cool autistic hero in the spotlight, bitterly disappointed that being hated and ‘useless’ is what she’s ultimately making headlines for? Oh yeah.

Because no matter the reason or who’s to blame, it sucks seeing this narrative of Symmetra being ‘too different’ to be accepted play out in the meta and through toxic bullying behavior, simply because of how close to home that hits for those like her.

All this on top of the fact that she has far fewer voiceline interactions with other heroes than most heroes enjoy really gives her this palpable sense of isolation and separation from the rest of the ensemble cast. A sense of separation that’s unpleasantly familiar to an autistic fan like myself.

I honestly just really hope the Overwatch Team can turn this one around. I’m eager to see what her new rework has in store.


I doubt Symmetra is being prejudiced because she’s an autistic character. She had a 0% pickrate in OWL and generally takes a slot in a team comp that would most of the time be better off given to another DPS or support hero (this is why OWL people make fun of her). She just hasn’t had a clear identity in game for a while, and hopefully the rework will give her a clear purpose.


Just going to point out, I am like Sym too, ( Have Asperger’s syndrome) and I have very mixed feelings about the community, Pros and the Devs after seeing and dealing with all of this for the last two years.


kotaku is a meme already
did they actually say this?

Oh no, I don’t think she is either. I think it would probably be the same for any character that was designed like her. Still, I thought it was worth talking about how it’s kind of a sad coincidence.


I think a combination of adding a positive interaction with someone or something for Sym combined with going public with her actual stats would be a good first step to fixing things unless I am deeply mistaken.

Symmetra might not work at the very tippy top of Overwatch but, 99% of the players aren’t actually at that point. I think it’s highly likely the stats would show that she actually has average or above average results on most maps at most SR/MMR even after you adjust for the players that swap off her when they are losing.

You have far too many people complaining about Sym relative to her pick rate for the majority of her players to be just playing her what is traditionally considered optimal situations.


can we like…
not listen to kotaku
they dont… really hit the actual point always
not like they have a good reputation either lol

Symmetra is autistic? Am I being trolled? Please provide proof she’s autistic.

While it won’t let me post links in my replies to direct you to any outside sources, her comic involved her mentioning being ‘on the spectrum’, a phrase used commonly in the community to refer to being on the autistic spectrum.

Later an autistic fan wanted confirmation, and Jeff Kaplan sent them a letter confirming that the line meant what it sounded like, and she is in fact, autistic. You can google it and find her comic and an image of the letter pretty easily.

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Kotaku has a terrible reputation with good reason with that said, due to the way the gaming press and community’s work they can be useful/interesting from time to time as they aren’t in a position where they are stuck catering to the larger publishers or the more vocal dominant game audience as they have their own separate audience.