Let's Talk About Lucio's New Overwatch Skin, Which Is Bad

Lucio's new legendary skin for the Overwatch one year anniversary is causing me physical pain.

Lucio, unfortunately, has a history of questionable skins. If you're a Lucio player, you have the exciting potential of being a soccer player, a hockey player, a DJ in a frog mask, or a DJ in a golden frog mask. The first two skins are merely boring. The last two are patently absurd, bordering on Cronenberg-esque nightmare fuel:

WHY

It doesn't really help that Lucio has mostly been portrayed as either an athlete or a musician. On the one hand, Lucio is canonically a Brazilian DJ -- of course his skins reference music. The soccer skin also comes from the Olympics event, which was hosted in Brazil. To say that soccer is huge in Brazil would be a massive understatement. The Olympics event also gave us Lucioball, a game mode that turned Overwatch matches into a stylised game of soccer.

But in a larger cultural context, it doesn't feel great to see that he's largely been portrayed in those ways. It can be difficult to explain why portrayals of black men as athletes or entertainers can ruffle feathers -- it's really not about role, but the frequency with which black men are placed in it. Jordan Peele's horror movie Get Out offers a thorough dismantling of the way that culture at large values black men for being particularly good at sports or music. In that movie, while the main character is at a party, the guests ask him what sports he plays. A villain explains that he admires black people for their strength and stamina and creativity, to the point of wanting to steal their bodies.

This is an American framing and an American problem, but Blizzard is an American company and developer. Even if Lucio as a character is Brazilian, he's created in a space where American stereotypes come into play. It doesn't offend me or make me outraged, just a little tired. Honestly, Lucio's best skin is the Christmas elf. That one's adorable. Look at his little hat!

Lucio's new anniversary skin continues the trend of bad skins. It's called "Jazzy", and presumably that means he's a jazz musician. To me, Lucio looks like he's doing Bruno Mars cosplay.

There's just too much going on -- you can either do a vest or a hat or gloves, but for God's sakes roll down your sleeves, my dude. He reminds me a lot of people who are just discovering that accessorising is possible. They try everything at once before they learn that less is more. Coco Chanel once said, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." Lucio could have done with taking three or four things off. He definitely could have removed the gold codpiece. Honestly, this tweet says it all:

But this tweet is also good:

Sorry, one more:

One neat thing about Lucio skins is that they change the musical stings that play for him in the game. This one has a saucy trumpet loop. While it starts out being fun to hear, I promise you it gets old fast:

Really, Lucio's skin is a lesson to people who want to venture out into the worlds of fashion for the first time. Statement pieces like hats, vests, gloves or golden codpieces need room to breathe. If you wear too many at the same time, you look like you're playing dress up in your parent's clothes. So next time you go shopping remember this: You might get excited and buy a bunch of cool accessories, but for God's sake, don't put them all on at once. This is what you look like.


Comments

    maybe it's just me but I love the DJ frog mask in HoTS, it's kind of adorable to be honest heh

    I hate the core gameplay and economy of Overwatch, but I love the character designs. There is nothing wrong with the new skin, I think it looks cool and the new sounds for it are sorta great.

    His skins will likely always be somewhat music themed because it is also a mechanic of his character, just like Sona from League.

      what is there to hate? i seriously don't get it. if u hate FPS games. sure i understand.

        The games play like a poor man's TF2 (I already dislike TF2 due to the myriad of items creating mad flavor of the month builds) and the economy is really greedy. Event boxes are horrible, I have opened 12 boxes and have nothing but whites or blue, yet every skin is a legendary that costs 3k.

          Poor man's TF2? I always looked at it as TF2 done right. For me, it completely perfected class-based teamplay and added new and interesting characters, visuals, gameplay—and what's more, the hats you do see are just a small part complete skins!

          Don't get me wrong though, TF2 gave me some really fun times, and I still count it as one of my favourite games, so I'm by no means hating on it, but I never even play it any more because it's just not as fun to me anymore.

          But to say OW's economy is more greedy than that of TF2 is completely ludicrous. TF2 may seem to be more generous in how it doles out loot, but it also has a much, much larger item pool to draw from, and you've no doubt played TF2 longer than OW, so maybe your perception is somewhat skewed.

            OW is justnot fun to play in normals, pretty much every character has some super boring no recoil weapon. The only time I play is with friends and only the 3v3 modes.

            I never said it was more greedy than TF2, just that it was greedy.

        I tried to get back into it after getting bored back in launch week and after spending a few hours in the game I remembered why I thought the game was trash.

        Pretty much all the quick play matches would put me on a team with people similar to my (very low) level and there would be people on the other team with a bunch of stars under their names. That is atrocious matchmaking.

        The other major issue is that currently it seems to be the cool thing to have 2-3 tanks and 2-3 healers on each team, it is not fun just shooting at bullet sponges for several minutes hoping one of them makes a mistake. I don't remember this being anywhere near as much of a thing when the game launched.

        The final issue is that the this game has a worse loot box system than Blizzards own F2P game heroes of the storm. You can spend hours trying to win one of the ridiculous arcade modes and if you never win you get no boxes. It takes almost 10 quick matches to receive a loot box and on average the quality of the loot is just trash. Having timed event lootboxes is just a disgusting cash grab.

    That was such a flimsy weak argument I surprised you committed it to an article.

    You've looked for something to make an edgy article about rather than realise that these costumes are purely fanciful, this is up there with people complaining about the Sym goddess costume, it's all fanciful imaginings.

      haha, came to write the same thing.
      so what if he looks that way, i think it suits him.
      i actually got an MJ and Bruno vibe from him. neither of which i think is insensitive or inappropriate.
      haters gonna hate.

      Agreed. Thought I was on Polygon for a second.

      Its called shadow boxing. Fighting an issue that doesn't really exist...

    The "Black Ice Hockey Player" has been a stereotype that has been getting Brazilians down for hundreds of years.

    The salt is strong with this one. I think his new outfit is neat. He's a musician and this outfit is Jazzy. I see no problem here.

    Can we go one week without people getting offended by skins in Overwatch?

      Crystal ball time: Bastion's Latest Skin Appropriates Dune Buggy Culture

      I'm waiting on the new D.Va skin appropriates western culture article still.

        You won't get it, because western culture is the domain of the straight white cis-gendered man, who is fair game as far as SJWs are concerned. They have a visceral need to champion causes where they imagine people are suffering injustice at the hands of the oppressive majority. In short, they are the equivalent of children playing pretend superheroes.

        Yes, my comment is generalising a lot but it is also somewhat tongue-in-cheek :-)

          It's almost as if the group that leaps to conclusions that things like the jazz skin are racist and offensive, are in themselves exposing their own unconscious or hypersensitive bigotry.

            Or a desire to speak the language of modern times (e.g. virtue signalling) or a self-loathing (if white) that can only be offset by attacking other 'white' culture...

            I hope Kotaku writers don't see https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-44211f17b1bb50c37e68710dd1dd88d7-c because they would probably have a screaming fit and froth all over themselves as they reach for the nearest keyboard ;-)

            (just kidding Kotaku, you know I love you really!)

    "Lucio's new legendary skin for the Overwatch one year anniversary is causing me physical pain."

    No it's not. Must be difficult being so easily offended, and physically hurt by the offense felt.

    This article goes to highlight Gita's lack of taste. All of Lucio's non-recolour skins are good or cool. Especially Goldfrog!

    I think Blizzard and the developers of Overwatch do a great job with creating characters who are diverse and inclusive to different cultures, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.

    They are honestly trying quite hard to please as many people as possible but unfortunately, at the end of the day, you can't make everyone happy.

    We understand, you don't like Lucio's new skin, you don't have to and that's okay. You believe it is stereotyping black men (or in this case, Brazilian men)... so what would you prefer instead? Would you prefer a skin where he's dressed like an ancient Mayan warrior? A tribe member? A Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner (with the tight gi and billboard advertisements all over it)?

    "Lucio's new legendary skin for the Overwatch one year anniversary is causing me physical pain."

    Okay, if you say so... but then,

    "It doesn't offend me or make me outraged, just a little tired."

    Come on. Your article pretty much says otherwise.

    I like Kotaku. I visit this website on a near daily basis, but what makes me tired is when I see articles like this, articles that honestly, don't really need to be written... as it seriously comes off as just complaining. Sometimes, I wonder if these articles are made purely to get clicks, and to get people like me commenting?

    Reminds me of the time when someone on Kotaku wrote an article about a particular character "dying" in a particular video game, complaining about it, without actually having finished the bloody game yet.

      Sometimes, I wonder if these articles are made purely to get clicks, and to get people like me commenting?

      That's exactly what they are doing.

      Yeah I mean I think there's a perfectly valid article in here complaining about the aesthetics of this design without forcing a racism-based argument in there.

      Yeah. There was another article about how not everyone loves his design and wouldn't be cool if...

      but they wrote and published this one instead.

      I'm not angry. I'm just tired. And honestly? I think I'm done with this culture. It feels like everyone writing these articles is younger than me, there's so many reports on youtubers (I don't care and don't know anyone who does) and now I read the above. Offended because he's portrayed as a musician or an athlete.

      Seriously. Seriously. I just.... Fuck. This is just ridiculous. 22 people killed in manchester in the last week at a concert. But let's write an article about how a fucking skin is causing Gita physical pain.

      I don't have words anymore. This is bullshit.

        I suspect there may be a day soon where too many of these articles will have come out and a lot more people will be "done with this culture".

        And then the pendulum will start swing back...

    I don't like Lucios new skin and you shouldn't either. *Humph*

    /s

    Counterpoint: Lucio's jazz skin looks great and has nothing to do with skin colour at all.

    /s
    Can't they just hit peak outrage already?
    Make all the white characters black and the black characters white.

    They'll be outrage for at least hours.

    Aaaand Russians are often depicted as body builders or weightlifters.
    Zarya has an even worse skin. (I like Lucios)
    Why not pick on the Russian stereotype and bad skin?
    oh...i see....

    oh boy this skin is absolutley stupid looking.

    What the fuck? Seriously? It's offensive to portray a black person as an athlete or a musician?

    Offensive to who??? In what world? Seriously? Talk about outrage culture. Fuck.

    His outfit is based off Samba de Gafieira, a partner dance to the Brazilian samba musical rhythms. Lucio is Brazilian.
    Try looking at countries outside the United States for Overwatch references.

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