Young but so much pressure. Our puppies deserve protection.

19:00, 06 Aug 2020

The German language is notorious for slapping nouns together to form compound words of potentially infinite length and call that a fine way to communicate. “Rinderkennzeichnungs- und Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz” for example was a law which regulated the transfer of responsibilities for the labelling of beef that had been important during the mad cow disease outbreak in the early 2000s. Linguistic lunacy.

“Schadenfreude”, the pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune, was such a zeitgeisty banger of a term to describe our fascination with reality TV or watching other people play Jump King that it even found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary. 

In an effort to expand your vocabulary with all kinds of weird observations German psychologists made about emotions and feelings, I want to introduce two words which I was amazed to find no generally recognized translation in common parlance for. The terms are closely related and are called “Kindchenschema” (baby schema) and “Welpenschutz” (puppy license) used in behavioural psychology.

Kindchenschema describes the feeling of affection we feel when we look at animals or babies with juvenile features such as large eyes and bulging craniums. Wonder why Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson gets away with the cheek that he has? We found the bug in our human code for that one some 100 years ago! It also explains your anime addiction. In English the term used is “cuteness” but the common connotation of the word doesn’t quite capture it.

Welpenschutz is related to that, referring to the number of obnoxious behaviour puppies can get away with without being ripped to shreds by dogs who have to suffer from their nefarious deeds.

Perhaps more confusing than the length to which German compound words go to is this article, that’s supposedly about Overwatch League, but has barely connected to the topic yet. Yes, you are still on GGRecon and no, you haven’t fallen into a pandemic algorithm rabbit hole. Let’s bring it around.

Welpenschutz and Overwatch League Rookies

Welpenschutz and Kindchenschema of course only rarely apply to Overwatch in the literal sense… except for Minho "Architect" Park who is perfect the way he is, best Genji, and can do no wrong.

2019 GrandFinals 155742 MinhoARCHITECTPark RobertPaul3jpg
Blizzard Entertainment

Instead, we are talking about a metaphorical case in which our teenagers, many of them incapable of boiling water without setting the house on fire, should be given a little more rope than seasoned veterans in their mid-20s, of course within reason. 

Much internal trouble has been had over the new age deity “professionalism” that some of us pray to for several hours a day. Specific commandments are unknown, just be a good boy on your best behaviour. 

Who are the heathens?

Who joins the Overwatch League? People with proven skill at the game who seem compatible with a roster. Players who, despite the repeated stories of incompetent management surfacing, join teams with questionable reputations, still make the risky life decision to join that system. In other words, those who show as much passion for the game as they exhibit a certain kind of crazy, having spent thousands of hours of their youth to get good at the game, sacrificing exactly those experiences which contribute to the rite of passage into adulthood. We just cut the academy system that could’ve provided the necessary mentorship that could’ve solved this. What gives?

Therefore the correct application of Welpenschutz that many teams already had to apply over the seasons in the Overwatch League appears to be to grant second, third and fourth chances in manners of failed professionalism for teenagers joining this league, compassionately guiding them to be great teammates.

Images via Blizzard Entertainment

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