back to top
World

A Video Game Character Has Become The Symbol Of A Badass Feminist Movement

For D.Va was created after members gathered to share thoughts about suspended South Korean President Park Geun Hye.

Posted on

Last Saturday, women in the country joined people around the world in women's marches. At the one in Seoul, people noticed a flag sporting the emblem of Overwatch character D.Va.

D.Va's bunny symbol at Women's March in Seoul https://t.co/OVsoj6O350

In the game, Hana Song, also known as D.Va, is a 19-year-old Korean former pro gamer. Prior to Overwatch's story, she had been the number one StarCraft player — another popular game in the country, both in real life and in the world of Overwatch.

The group carrying the flag have called themselves For D.Va, and the symbol they've adopted is the rabbit that appears on the character's clothing.

The group's official Tumblr cites the case of Geguri, a 17-year-old Korean woman who was accused of cheating simply because she was so good at Overwatch, as an example of the toxic attitude towards women gamers in the country.

The case is said to be endemic of a wider problem in the South Korean gaming community.

Last year, a video game voice actress lost her job for posing in a t-shirt with the message "Girls Do Not Need A Prince" on it. Fans of the game Closers campaigned for the actress, Kim Jayeon, to be disciplined for wearing the shirt, which was sold by a feminist group. The incident was described as South Korea's Gamergate.

Nine, a spokesperson for For D.Va, told BuzzFeed News that the group first gathered together on Nov. 26, 2016 to join the protests against South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, who is currently suspended while she faces impeachment proceedings.

광화문 스타벅스 옆에서 전디협 스티커/피켓 배부중입니다!!!

Nine said that they were one of the people who answered a call put out by the founder of the group on Twitter.

미래의 송하나(디바)(약 2060년 기준 19세)가 태어나기 좋은 세상을 위해, 성차별받지 않을 사회를 만들기 위해 오직너하나뿐(전국디바협회)이 나섭니다. 오직너하나뿐과 함께 성차별없는 온라인/오프라인 세상… https://t.co/UYhWlbZYmY

Since then, For D.Va have worked on getting their symbol into the public consciousness, and raising their profile. They often post to their Twitter and Tumblr pages, sharing updates or materials for those interested.

The group have even created badges, stickers, and postcards to distribute at events and to members.

For Dva

"Haya" means resignation and referred to the call heard at marches calling for the president to stand down.

All of these methods are geared towards achieving their aim of creating a "non-sexist world" where a character like D.Va could exist.

The message has proved popular – pictures of For DV.a's flags from last week's protest, as well as their merchandise, have been shared across social media. They now receive fan art and are being hailed as a positive representation of online fandom.

Honestly the National D.Va Association is the ideal way that fandom should turn out. Positive change through fictional representation

hello I did a thing (I'm sorry if my translated Korean is wrong lol) another PSA to read this… https://t.co/1uIYvYBE26

The group have also started a book club through which they hope to produce a guide book for feminist literature. While they have no plans to expand outside South Korea right now, they have high hopes for the effect they could have for women gamers in the county.

"Because we are in the initial stages, we are just a group of feminist gamets, but we wish to grow into a group that can actually voice opinions related to in-game misogyny and gender discrimination," Nine said.

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.