The Need For More Disabilities In The Games We Play

Video games have grown popular in today’s culture. Because of this, their growing popularity could be used to help educate, as long as the companies offer an accurate representation of the disability, whether it be physical or mental. When I interviewed Elisa last month, I started thinking of ideas for this months articles and figured I could expand on the idea of disabilities in video games.

Physical Disabilities

It would be awesome and beneficial to have a game based on Wheelchair Basketball. This could be like any other sports game, except with wheelchair basketball. Another option is to add disabled people in a wheelchair for basketball video games. They do have a wheelchair simulator game, which to me feels like a game that makes using a wheelchair the punchline of a joke. I would like to see the game developers have some serious interpretations of disabilities.

Mental Disabilities

There are examples of mental disabilities in video games. Autism gets represented in Watch Dogs 2. There is a character named Josh. Josh is a genius in Watch Dogs 2, but he also has trouble understanding social cues. He won’t process emotion like others and he does not understand slang. This is one representation of someone with Autism, or at least on the spectrum. Josh is presented well, and is just one of the many unique on the team. He is just the same as anyone else, so they don’t treat him as an outcast just because of who is. You might also see some in the GTA RP (FiveM) servers playing those with mental disabilities. Some of those who play on the server, Pandemonium RP, play characters with disabilities. Many of those actually playing them do have disabilities. One girl, Bizzi who plays a girl named Emily with psychosis and schizophrenia, which she has both of them. I roleplay a girl with ADHD, which she I do have as well as severe anxiety. My friend, DapperPaperBag role plays a girl named Bow, with Autism. These are players with disabilities who roleplayed characters with the same disabilities. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’s main character, Senua, has Psychosis. Symmetra in Overwatch is another leading character with Autism. Rogue Legacy is another game that has a “colorblind” perk that the player character could inherit a trait where they only see the world in black and white.

What Part Can Companies Play?

If physical disabilities get added in games, this could bring awareness to more disabilities. More people would be made aware of disabilities, especially if the representation was accurate, such as Symmetra from Overwatch who has Autism.This could even show unseen physical or mental disabilities as well, like a spinal injury that you don’t see. Hellblade focused on a character with Psychosis and won numerous awards. The creators of Hellblade also worked alongside knowledgeable people to represent actual factual representation.  It would be nice to see player characters and non-player characters with disabilities in the games because it could also be therapeutic helping those with disabilities, playing a game with disabilities added while helping to educate those who don’t have disabilities.

Do you have a disability you might like to see in a video game? Which one and why?

Catherine loves making YouTube videos, livestreaming, and writing blogs. Feel free to check her out on YouTube, Twitch, or WordPress!