Lena Oxton

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Character
Name: Lena Oxton aka Tracer
Occupation: Adventurer
Title/Rank:
Location: London, England
Status: alive
Relationships: Emily (girlfriend)
Fandom: Overwatch
Other:
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Lena Oxton, call sign: Tracer, is a playable character from Overwatch, a first-person shooter game by Blizzard Entertainment.

Canon

Lena is a former Overwatch agent known as Tracer. She was the youngest person ever inducted into Overwatch's experimental flight program, and went on to test the Slipstream, a prototype of a teleporting fighter jet. However during its first flight, the aircraft's teleportation matrix malfunctioned, and it disappeared with Lena still inside.

After been presumed dead she reappeared months later, however her molecules had become desynchronized from the flow of time, a condition that was named "chronal disassociation". She was unable to maintain a physical form and would disappear for hours and days at a time. Winston went on to design the chronal accelerator, a device capable of keeping Tracer anchored in the present. The chronal accelerator also gives Tracer the ability to control her own time, allowing her to speed it up and slow it down at will.

Tracer is the first LGBT character in Overwatch shown so far.

Reaction to Reflections Comic

Reactions to the comic were mixed. Some fans bemoaned the fact that Blizzard was emphasising sexuality, and argued that it did not add depth to the overall lore. Others were excited that there was gay representation in a medium that overall severely lack representation of all kinds.[1]

Pose change reaction

Early on in Overwatch's development, One of Tracer's poses was changed.[2] Whether this is because of a user complaining on a forum or Blizzard planned to change it anyway is unknown. This change was significant because many fans felt it was changed unjustly, and was only changed to 'pander to skeletons' or appease those crazy about censorship.

Just after it was changed, there was a lot of arguing in fandom. Most prominently, Tumblr took a very pro-change approach, whereas the reddit was varied in response. Some users believed that the previous pose still fit her character, and that Blizzard Entertainment was being weak-willed by bending to their fanbase's will. Others held the opinion that those against the change were being overly dramatic about censorship.

As reddit user akashisenpai commented:

If the ass were a general problem they'd have said right away that they would change the entire model. Not even the OP who originally criticized it wanted that. The old pose simply put too much focus on that particular spot, which didn't fit the character. But where would we be if people wouldn't immediately jump to conclusions and enrage because their fear of "censorship" was triggered.

user Jess_than_three said:

Gosh it's almost like they were telling the exact truth when they said that they agreed that the previous pose didn't fit her character well, and had their artists come up with something better!

The rationalizations are hilarious, too. Yes, her butt is still in the frame - gasp! - but it's not (in context of the awful wedgie pants) prominently on display as had previously been the case. It's not made to be the focus, it's more, yes, she has a butt.

This new version is much more in keeping with her character. Glad to see they got something reasonable out so quickly!

After about a month the incident was no longer debated in fandom.

Fanon

Kotaku noted the following on fanon surrounding Tracer:

In creating their own works involving Tracer, fans have turned those characteristics up to 11. Some depict her as childlike, naive and carefree. She can even be kind of a doof, a punchline. Others are obsessed with her rivalry with Widowmaker. You might (NOT) be surprised to hear that a shitload of people ship them. And then of course, there is The Butt (TM). In that respect, Tracer is Overwatch’s most prominent example of Blizzard and fans’ visions diverging.[3]

Some common accepted fanon includes:

  • Tracer suffering PTSD due to the Slipstream accident, often this explored alongside her chronal disassociation.
  • Tracer being afraid of taking her chronal accelerator off or not being close to it.
  • Part of Tracer's chronal accelerator being embedded into of her chest, similar to Iron Man's Arc Reactor.
  • Talon!Tracer in which Talon finds Tracer after the Slipstream accident before Overwatch does.[4] This is sometimes used in tandem with Overwatch!Amelié where she was never made into Widowmaker, thus making it a role reverse for them.
  • Werewolf!Tracer and Vampire!Widowmaker are popular fanfiction AUs.
  • Having a rivalry, friendly or otherwise, with the Scout from Team Fortress 2.

Shipping

Tracer is one of few Overwatch characters to have a canon ship as she was shown to have a girlfriend, Emily, in the comic "Reflections"[5] Even before Tracer was revealed to be a lesbian her ships were typically femslash. The biggest ship with Tracer is Widowmaker/Tracer.

Example Fanworks

[Examples illustrating common tropes; gen works; pairings other than those with their own articles]

Fanart

Tracer-centric Communities

References

  1. the wildly popular Overwatch says a main character is gay - will this be a step forward for video games? - Washington Post
  2. [www.polygon.com/2016/3/28/11321138/overwatch-tracer-pose-removal Tracer's pose change - Polygon]
  3. kotaku - Overwatch Fans Have Turned Tracer Into A Completely Different Character
  4. Talon~ by BJMAKI
  5. Reflections - Overwatch Comic