Why do omnics have gender?

General Discussion
With the new hero released on the PTR this question has come to my mind. They don't sexually reproduce. They are all produced in factories.

Why did the humans of Overwatch design omnics to mimic human gendered appearences? Does this even serve a purpose? You could argue that Zenyatta was modeled after the "male" gender but other than his voice I can find nothing male about him. The new hero on the otherhand actually has multiple human feminine characteristics including the hair.

I don't understand it...
There's a omnic actor that plays any part regardless of the gender.

-shrug- If Jeff is calling Orisa "She" then I'll call em she
03/02/2017 01:06 PMPosted by Xanikk
With the new hero released on the PTR this question has come to my mind. They don't sexually reproduce. They are all produced in factories.

Why did the humans of Overwatch design omnics to mimic human gendered appearences? Does this even serve a purpose? You could argue that Zenyatta was modeled after the "male" gender but other than his voice I can find nothing male about him. The new hero on the otherhand actually has multiple human feminine characteristics including the hair.

I don't understand it...


Because they can.
Why not?

I mean, if Elfi programed her to act that way, it would be kinda rude not to respond in kind.
Gender- Expression of either sex in society
Sex- Genitals and chromosomes

Robots don't have a sex is what you mean. They can have a gender.
Because it's fiction and if every Omnic sounded like Bastion it would be incredibly boring. Yes, obviously every Omnic could sound like Morgan Freeman if it wanted to, but they need a bit of diversity.
Siri, Cortana, Alexa, we do it in the real world all the time.
People will always humanize things that are not human. It's why we have male and female robots. It's also why some peoples dogs act crazy.

We take comfort in making things more like ourselves. So, to most people, dehumanizing the Overwatch robots would, in reality, make people less comfortable with them. It's in our nature.
Shhh, it doesn't matter.
Why do we consider vehicles like cars and boats she? Cause we can.
Is this tumblr?
03/02/2017 01:17 PMPosted by Wolvesbane
Why do we consider vehicles like cars and boats she? Cause we can.


Yeah about that, don't google mechanophilia.
03/02/2017 01:16 PMPosted by MrE
People will always humanize things that are not human. It's why we have male and female robots. It's also why some peoples dogs act crazy.

We take comfort in making things more like ourselves. So, to most people, dehumanizing the Overwatch robots would, in reality, make people less comfortable with them. It's in our nature.
03/02/2017 01:15 PMPosted by garvisus
Siri, Cortana, Alexa, we do it in the real world all the time.

This. And it goes back even further than that. Hell, sailors referred to their ships as "she" all the time. Humans like things to be relatable.

Interesting side note. After extensive testing with fighter pilots, they discovered the pilots responded much more to a female voice than a male. Don't know why this made me think of that, but ...
Do I think? Does a submarine swim?
They don't have a gender. They're robots. You asking "why do Omnics have a gender" implies that they do have a gender and you're asking why. The thing is, they don't have a gender. There's no reason for your question to exist. I don't want to be rude, and I'm sorry if it sounds like it. I just want to point at the obvious. They are made of metal and circuits, and coding. There's no actual gender per se.

It's a 'mimic' or an illusion, at best. It's just in human nature that an engineer would go for an anthropomorphic robot design. And it's also sometimes due to practical reasons, if the robot has to interact with a human-made environment, the robot will need human-like abilities to interact like a human would with said human-made environment.

When it comes to giving a female or male voice to the machine, it goes with the exterior shape it was designed as. If you design a robot frame that has 'breasts' and give your machine the voice of a male... it creates a contradiction for us humans, although the actual choice of the voice type is absolutely irrelevant for the actual functionality of the machine; and the machine itself doesn't care unless it was programmed to care about it and question it.

They could have designed a robot without specific humanoid shapes to it as well, and with a 'gender neutral' robotic, emotionless voice. It would have just looked like a moving hunk of junk and humans interacting with it would have found it incredibly 'unnatural' since for the human brain there's no 'reference points' for social-like interaction purposes. But as soon as you add a frame that has "feminine shapes" to it, especially a frame that has 'breasts' to it, then suddenly it's a "female robot" (obviously seems so if you add a female voice).

Anyway, this topic could be going real deep for weeks non-stop.

But essentially, there's no gender, stop worrying about it.
Data is 'fully functional'
Omnics want to be equal to humans, and part of that is not being referred to as objects. Gender pronouns help with this.

You can sort of think of them as similar to transgender people. They are a gender despite not being that sex.
03/02/2017 01:06 PMPosted by Xanikk
Why did the humans of Overwatch design omnics to mimic human gendered appearences? Does this even serve a purpose? You could argue that Zenyatta was modeled after the "male" gender but other than his voice I can find nothing male about him. The new hero on the otherhand actually has multiple human feminine characteristics including the hair.

I don't understand it...

I see it as a type of familiarity thing. We're told that Orisa is programmed to protect, serve, and above all, help.
Now I don't know about you, but if I were being protected by an omnic, I want to feel safe -- I want to feel like I can trust it. What better way than to give the omnic a personality and a friendly look to go with it.
As far as choosing the gender goes, that's really up to the creator of it. Efi probably chose to make Orisa female in image of herself.

Most of this is just my idea on why I would give an omnic a personality and gender though.
I feel like the real question is, why does Zenyatta wear pants, and Genji doesn't?

That said, I feel like most people here have covered the reasons for Omnics identifying as a specific gender.

I kinda like the idea that they want to feel equal to humans... But they were also built in factories, so perhaps they were just built that way. Those like Zenyatta seem to be a special case, though, as most of the lore on The Iris almost implies that these Omnics have a life force similar to a soul... Which is why Mondatta couldn't simply just be repaired.

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