For most of this year, Overwatch has been one of my best students. Overwatch always turn out updates on time, his work is diverse and inclusive, and he brings a lot of joy to the classroom with his funny one-liners and crazy outfits. Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that many of Overwatch’s assignments are suspiciously close to those turned in by an older student and recent dropout, Evolve.
I first had my suspicions after a few of Overwatch’s reports at the beginning of the year seemed familiar, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. If it had been any other student’s work being copied I might have noticed sooner, but Evolve was such an odd case, burning bridges amongst students and teachers alike.
It seemed peculiar but I couldn’t make the connection right away. I mean, lightning guns aren’t THAT uncommon and healing beams have been a trope for longer than I’ve taught. It wasn’t until I was grading a more recent assignment that I put two and two together.
I just couldn’t believe it. Overwatch is an A student. Everyone likes him and he has a stable and invested home life with Blizzard. As upset and disappointed as I was, I went back into my files to confirm. This had to have just been a one-time thing. A freak accident or just a failure to cite his sources. Maybe I was just seeing things.
Of course, Overwatch is smart enough to cover his tracks. He frequently utilized changes in formatting and theme to make the some of Evolve’s most successful concepts seem original and innovative. Of course many of Overwatch’s projects still had much of his own brilliant work but I kept finding examples of Evolve’s handiwork embedded within. And all of it right under my nose for so long! There had to be an end to it, but the more I looked the more I found.
I’ll admit, I was angry when I compared the two. I felt like a fool and I’d wager many of his other teachers feel the same. I could’ve have reported it then and there but something in me had to know for sure. I had to see it in his eyes. When he turned in his most recent project, Wrecking Ball, my heart sank. It was just like Evolve’s work.
The grappling hook, quad cannons, minefield, ground pound and giggling hamster are all just window dressing meant to distract us from Evolve’s stolen core design. I take plaguerism quite seriously and so I recommend that Overwatch be suspended until such time as he learns to never create anything that bears even a passing resemblance to something else… even if his source is a potential-wasting, self-imploding, disaster of a game called Evolve… oh, and don’t get me started on Mei’s Yeti Hunt.