Blizzard has been cracking down on Overwatch cheaters. Though the game was released recently, thousands of players have already been flattened by the ban hammer. No matter the circumstance, if you are caught cheating, you will receive a lifelong ban from Overwatch.
This is excessive.
Imagine being a 13 year old kid. Your friend or older sister shows you a program that automatically gives you perfect aim. Blizzard bans you and uses their technical wizardry to make sure that ban follows you for life.
Now, you’re 23. You’ve graduated from college and you have a sweet new job writing the captions to the photos in Time Magazine. Some buddies from work want to play Overwatch together every Thursday night, they invite you to their squad. You can’t play. You cannot play Overwatch because of a mistake you made when you were 13. Awkward.
Listen, I’m not without reason and I don’t claim to know the ins and outs of Blizzard’s banning system. Is there a way for this person to play Overwatch, somehow escaping the clutches of their ban? Probably. But, that isn’t really the point. This example should highlight why a lifetime ban is a bad idea.
Look at Major League Baseball.
Jenrry Mejia, a pitcher for the New York Mets, was banned for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs three times in a year. Mejia is banned, but he was offered warnings (with penalty) for his first couple of offenses. Even after being banned, Mejia will have the chance to seek reinstatement in 2017, for a chance to pitch again in the 2018 baseball season.
Punishment without chance for redemption or education defeats the purpose of punishment itself. Remember when you were that 13 year old kid? Your parents would punish you, but not to scar you for life or some weird act of vengeance. They were trying to teach you lessons.
Gaming is so young, competitive gaming is even younger. If Blizzard wants to employ a one strike you’re out policy, I can’t see the harm in making it last a single year. By then these unforgiveable cheaters would have surely moved on to another game anyways, right?
I am enjoying Overwatch immensely, but a lifetime ban almost feels like bullying. If that’s the case, Blizzard, what are you trying to prove?