Is Pretty Privilege Affecting Your Endorsements in Overwatch 2? - Prima Games

Is Pretty Privilege Affecting Your Endorsements in Overwatch 2?

Is your cosmetic preventing you from getting the recognition you deserve?

by Daphne Fama

Is pretty privilege a real thing? Sociological studies seem to conclude so, pointing out that many people harbor subconscious (and favorable) biases for individuals that meet the societal standard of beauty. But does pretty privilege extend to cosmetics in video games? Overwatch 2, in particular?

Is Pretty Privilege Effecting Your Overwatch 2 Endorsements?

Recently, I’ve been playing a significant amount of Overwatch 2 with someone who’s new to the game. And because I’m a massive simp, I switched from playing tank to Mercy to ensure he stayed alive (and got those kills). But as we completed match after match, I noticed that I was receiving far more endorsements as Mercy in her coveted Pink skin than I’d ever received as a tank or even as Moira or Kiriko.

Was I receiving more endorsements because of pretty privilege? Were people assigning more value to my healing and contributions to a match because of my skin? I was determined to find out.

The Method

In order to determine whether my increase in endorsements was based on the cosmetic I was wearing, I chose to play 50 games as Mercy.

25 games would be played with the Pink cosmetic, 25 would be played with the Default Overwatch 2 cosmetic. All games would be played solo, and games where I backfilled would not be counted towards the tally. I wouldn’t endorse anyone on my team, in case this led to someone endorsing in return. And to the best of my ability, I maintained similar timeframes for both sets of matches and similar interactions and play styles. I remained as neutral as possible for all 50 matches and refused to quit any games, including games where my team decided to live and die in the salt mines.

25 Games as Pink Mercy: Results

I began first with Mercy in her Pink cosmetic. Here are the results:

  1. 0
  2. 1 (+friend request)
  3. 0
  4. 2
  5. 1
  6. 1
  7. 0
  8. 1
  9. 0
  10. 1
  11. 0
  12. 1
  13. 0
  14. 2
  15. 0
  16. 2
  17. 0
  18. 1
  19. 0
  20. 2
  21. 1
  22. 1
  23. 0
  24. 2
  25. 0

Total: 19 endorsements. 14 out of 25 games, I received at least one endorsement.

 25 Games as Default Mercy: Results

  1. 0
  2. 0
  3. 1
  4. 0
  5. 4
  6. 0
  7. 0
  8. 0
  9. 0
  10. 0
  11. 2
  12. 2
  13. 2
  14. 1
  15. 2
  16. 1
  17. 0
  18. 0
  19. 0
  20. 0
  21. 0
  22. 0
  23. 2
  24. 1
  25. 1

Total: 19 Endorsements. 11 out of 25 games, I received at least one endorsement.

Conclusion

Yeah. No matter what skin I wore, I received the exact same number of endorsements. But the way they’re distributed is distinct. On Pink Mercy, I had more than a 50% chance of receiving at least one endorsement. But as Default Mercy, I was less likely to receive an endorsement per game but far more likely to obtain multiple endorsements when I did receive one.

Related: How to Counter Zarya in Overwatch 2

There are several possible conjectures you can make. As Pink Mercy, no matter how well I performed, I was likely to receive one endorsement. Or, perhaps, I simply drew more attention with the Pink Mercy skin and thus was more memorable when a team member went to endorse. In contrast, I was more forgettable as Default Mercy and thus was passed over during endorsements unless I performed particularly well. This would explain why I received endorsements in batches. But without the ability to actually poll teammates on their rationales, it’s impossible to know for sure.

Still, it seems like no matter what skin you choose, your teammates will endorse you based on your skill and contribution instead of how awesome your cosmetic is. A surprisingly wholesome conclusion.

Daphne Fama

A lawyer turned game journalist, Daphne Fama spends an inordinate amount of time playing games across the spectrum but she'll always have a soft spot for horror and JPRGs. Want to see all the best animal pictures the internet has to offer? Follow her on twitter at @DaphneFama.