Symmetra's New Voice Lines Bring Awareness to Her Autism in Overwatch 2

"I asked myself, how would her autism influence her experience on the battlefield?"
"I asked myself, how would her autism influence her experience on the battlefield?" / Blizzard Entertainment, @nesskain, screenshot by DBLTAP

It's no secret that Overwatch 2 is set to expand on its lore and better connect players to its heroes' personalities in a big way through its new voice lines.

Perhaps the best example of this was showcased by Blizzard Entertainment narrative designer Joshi Zhang, who posted a Twitter thread Friday to explain how Symmetra's autism is being represented in-game in Overwatch 2.

Symmetra is on the autism spectrum. Per the Overwatch Wiki, "she has trouble with social interactions, suffers from sensory overload and prefers environments that are structured and harmonious. She finds it hard to sit still and has set routines, which ensure there is always order and calm in some part of her life. Even in hotels, she has time alone and cleaves to her routines as much as possible. As a child, she struggled with understanding metaphors, though as an adult, she is more adept at understanding such figures of speech."

Now that some of Symmetra's voice lines have been made public on the cusp of Overwatch 2's long-awaited launch, players are beginning to see the premier hard-light architect is being given more to talk about other than playfully beefing with other heroes.

"Autism comes in many shapes and forms," Zhang wrote on Twitter, "it's about how you see and experience the world. I asked myself, how would her autism influence her experience on the battlefield? How much does she mask her autism? How does she stim?

"There are plenty of little sprinklings in her new voicelines that indicate her unique perspective. For example, as someone who experiences heightened sensory input, she'll comment on sensations that please her- or bother her."

When Mei asks her if she's ever made snowflakes with hard light, Symmetra mentions that she does that regularly as their repetitive patterns bring peace to her mind.

When Symmetra eliminates Lucio in-game, she comments "Finally, I can hear myself think."

"At the end of the day," Zhang tweeted, "I hope that autistic members of the OW community feel like they are seen. Autism is not a weakness; it's a strength to be celebrated by all. Neurodiverse squad, y'all are incredible and don't you forget it!"

For those who'd like to learn more about Symmetra, Zhang gave a shoutout to Christie Golden's short story "Stone By Stone," which can be read in full online.