A Michigan man named Docquen Jovo Watkins has been accused of killing her boyfriend, Rory Teasley, for the popular Blizzard game Overwatch. The incident follows the recent free-to-play trial period of Overwatch on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, which ran through the holiday season until Sunday, January 2.
Overwatch, a multiplayer team shooter, has had a controversial few months. While fans are still waiting for the release of its sequel, developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment has come under fire as a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. Activision Blizzard’s abuse and discrimination lawsuit has affected every studio under its umbrella, driving many away from even its most popular games. Earlier this month, it was reported that The LEGO Group is re-evaluating its association with Activision Blizzard due to the allegations, which has led to upcoming LEGO Overwatch sets being indefinitely delayed.
As NBC reported, a Michigan man was accused of killing his longtime boyfriend for Overwatch. The night of the incident, on January 6, the murder defendant Docquen Jovo Watkins called the police, explaining to the officers that he and his partner of 10 years, Rory Teasley, had “gotten into a fight.” Watkins claimed that Teasley was “sleeping on the couch” at her Pontiac home when she reported the domestic dispute. When authorities arrived at the scene, Teasley was unconscious and not breathing. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Sheriff Michael Bouchard said of the incident: “We see far too often across the country these days that people turn to violence over trivial and petty disagreements.” Although the exact nature of the alleged altercation remains unclear, Bouchard stated: “There is never a reason violence is acceptable for a disagreement.”
Releases within the multiplayer genre have often made headlines due to the toxicity found in online FPS games. Titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Dota 2 and Overwatch They have frequently faced controversy over their communities, with racism, homophobia, sexism and harassment being some of the problems many users face when trying to play an online game. Many developers have focused on new measures to reduce toxicity in online gaming, issuing bans for those reported for misconduct.
Although Watkins declared that she had had a dispute with her boyfriend because of OverwatchIt is not clear what happened before the incident, and until the police can provide more evidence, it is not safe to assume that the incident was caused directly by gambling.