Why the f@%k is Mei even fighting in the Omnic Crisis?

The dark implications of Overwatch’s favorite climatologist

Aaron J. Alford
3 min readOct 3, 2019

I know that Genji told his brother Hanzo that it’s time to choose sides, but why would scientists be on the front lines of your new war? I have no issues with Mei as a hero, balance-wise or mechanics wise. I do, however, have a huge issue with Mei’s backstory and how it relates to her presence on the battlefield.

Mei-Ling Zhou is a 31 year old climate scientist who built technology that can alter weather. Fair enough. She is fighting ecosystem collapse and trying to preserve the environment, which is a noble goal. Ostensibly, the modern Dr. Zhou is traveling around the world trying to re-establish Overwatch’s eco-network which could help protect the ecosystem.

SO WHY THEN, is she at war with the other heroes of the game? What part of being a climatologist would have her in the front line of black ops combat

Every other character has a reasonable explanation for their violent profession. Orisa was built by Efi to serve as her guardian, Hammond freed himself from his human oppressors in space, and Moira is just a sociopathic scientist who likes killing . Mei has no such explanation for her role in the violence.

She isn’t supposed to be a sociopathic scientist who giggles when she kills, yet here we are.

Mei’s cinematic shows us a happy and caring scientist whose robot is incredibly cute. Her in-game hero includes a lot of innocent sounding voice lines, which are made creepy when they are followed up with an ice spike to the brain. Mei’s intro cinematric wants you to feel sorry for a low battery robot, but Mei’s playable character design wants you to ult and use Snowball as a violent murder robot. Mei is one of the more viscerally violent characters when you look at what her move combo is. She freezes people, sometimes laughs, then shoots them in the face with an ice spike. What the hell, Mei? This is nothing like how you appear in your cinematic.

When you mix her cheerful and sarcastic voice lines into her surprisingly brutal play style, Mei quickly becomes the most creepy character in the game. I will take Moira asking me to “tell her how it feels” over Mei saying “YAAAY” and then shooting my face with an ice spike. When D.Va is being toxic and saying “GG” and “Is this easy mode” that is still more appropriate than Mei joyfully proclaiming *giggle* *giggle* “That was GREAT” after her ultimate ability murdered four people with a creepy weather altering robot named Snowball

Why does Mei have a weapon of mass destruction at all? Isn’t her weather altering technology supposed to be used to “fight climate change?” Why is her cute robot being used to murder people in back alley duels?

Whether she is stabbing you in the head or freezing you and then emoting on your body, Mei’s character is one of the most off-putting personalities in Overwatch. She isn’t even supposed to be a villain. There is just such a contradiction between the relatively serious tone of her characters cinematic and the absolute heartless debauchery that is Mei’s play style.

In summary, Mei is an environmental scientist working for Overwatch in the arctic. However, there is no actual explanation as to why she is fighting, or how she got involved in combat, or why she is such a sociopath while doing it. The dissonance between her innocence, and the violent spikes of death she impales enemies with is oddly disconcerting.

Originally published at https://www.proguides.com.



Aaron J. Alford

Media critique and memes. Writing about rhetoric and society. MA in Communication