Overwatch players in China are reporting that using the phrase ‘Winnie The Pooh’ in the game’s chat is resulting in immediate bans.
Users began voicing their concerns on Chinese social media platform Weibo, where claims of bans related to the popular bear began surfacing.
A translated version of the post (via Dexerto) documents that a player was banned for asking fellow teammates, “do you know who is best friend of Tigger?”
“At that time I didn’t know it was a trap, so I think about it and say “Winnie the Pooh,” a player explains, who was apparently subject to a ban.
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Winnie The Pooh is controversial in China due to his apparent visual similarity to President Xi Jinping, who hates being compared to the cartoon animal.
This isn’t the first controversy to emerge in China regarding Winnie The Pooh in recent weeks, with a horror game called Devotion being removed from Steam for allegedly associated him with Xi Jinping.
Blizzard is yet to respond to these claims and if the Chinese Government is involved with the sudden bans affecting Chinese players.
If they are, it’s somewhat troubling that the government is able to influence freedom of speech inside videogames, especially with something as trivial as Winnie The Pooh.
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