As if this election cycle weren’t already weird enough, a billboard has popped up in Florida that seriously and genuinely compares Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, to a shitty Overwatch player. And it’s not just some random happenstance, either. It’s the coordinated effort of one particularly targeted super PAC.
The billboard reads, “Donald Trump mains Hanzo and complains about team comp in chat.” There’s also a link to DonaldTrumpIsNotATeamPlayer.com, and a disclaimer that the ad’s paid for by the Nuisance Committee, a super PAC co-founded by Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin among others. The physical location of the billboard is apparently near the University of Central Florida, which is no coincidence.
The point the billboard’s making is fairly simple, and the URL of the website spells it out plainly: The Donald’s not a team player. Equating him to a “Hanzo” — one of the many Overwatch characters players can choose — that complains about “team comp” in chat is basically saying he’s willing to complain about something he’s complicit in but unwilling to actually do something about it. The theoretical Hanzo here is part of the problem.
The website itself goes further. It links Trump’s actions to a variety of excuses (with some terribly clever art by Chicago-based Daniel Warren Johnson) commonly made by online gamers to absolve themselves of any blame. “The other team’s hacking!” “Your team’s terrible.” “Something’s wrong with your equipment.” “The game itself is terrible or wrong somehow…” Sound familiar? In the eyes of the Nuisance Committee, it’s not too far from what he’s actually saying and doing in regards to the election.
In games like Overwatch, players can usually report each other for such toxic behavior and the game’s admins decide what to do from there. In the election, one imagines the corollary here would be to get out and vote.