Would anyone be interested in playing a disabled character?


#1

Actually, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in playing a disabled character? I know that there is already a game where we play an MC who can’t speak, but would it be worthwhile to explore MC with other disabilities like crippled or blind or deaf?

I don’t mean it to be offensive, I’m genuinly curious if the idea of disabled MC would appeal to players. :sweat_smile:


The Gifted and Graceless (WiP)
Game Ideas For Authors
Looking help writing a disabled PC (Multiple types of disabilites)
#2

I wouldn’t be opposed to such an idea at all, to your example in my opinion @Snoe has written such a great story and the fact First is mute has added depth to an already interesting character :slight_smile:


#3

That’s good. :smile: I’m mostly afraid of how this would come across to actual people with disabilities, maybe they would think “Oh you are trying to disregard us because you make our disability as a game machanich” But that’s not my intention and hopefully it won’t come across as that. :disappointed_relieved:

Thanks! :slight_smile:


#4

Just Cuz a character has a flaw/illness/condition or is differently abled doesn’t mean they can’t be a badass;)

I personally enjoy creating characters like this. I’ve another on the back burner where the MC has mild schizophrenia.


#5

I thought that this was a really good subject, and certainly one that’s worth its own topic. It would be interesting to see the responses to it.

I’d suggest against using the word crippled though, since it has derogatory connotations. Here in the UK we don’t even use handicapped to refer to people generally, since it’s out-dated. So whenever it crops up, I find it jarring, and need to remember that the US isn’t have the same.

Waywalker’s University has a protagonist that gets injured in the first game, and then must struggle with the disability that ensues in the second.

I think it’s tricky to get the balance right.

Remember that “people with disabilities” are not a monolith. There’s all sorts of disabilities. Even beyond the physical and mental, those who were born with them, those who acquired their disabilities at various stages of their life, those that might get better, or at least show improvement, and those for whom the condition will just get worse.

I think one of the most important things is handle it sensitively, and do not offer a magical cure. I think magical cures undermine what people undergo.

I think schizophrenia is tricky to get right. There’s so much misinformation about it in the media, which makes it impossible to really use other characters as an accurate template.


#6

Don’t listen to ‘these’ people. Make what you want to. Most normal people won’t get upset about you being able to play as a disabled character. The world is full of people with Disablements. If someone can’t handle it in a game, then they are the ones with the problem.


#7

See, I think it’s wrong to dismiss people with actual experience of a subject that you’re writing about. That @skyloidjade is right about the importance of being sensitive when tackling the subject, and listening to the opinions of others.

At the same time I think that fear of being inadvertently offensive, shouldn’t prevent someone from writing what they want to. If you make a mistake, and use an improper term, or do something that offends people, just apologise and fix it and try not to do it again.

We learn from our mistakes.

Even huge companies with millions invested, and huge marketting teams, sometimes make mistakes after all. Hasbro was going to create a robot called Spastic, for instance. That’s a really offensive term in the UK.


#8

I think it’s a very interesting subject. Two of my characters in an RP have disabilities, actually. One is wheelchair bound because of a digestive disorder and the other has a genetic heart condition which limits her physical abilities a lot.

I’ve got a few characters running around inside my head with physical disabilities, but haven’t found a story they fit into yet. Maybe some day… (And besides, cyborgs are awesome to the point where you can’t really call their bionic parts a disability anymore :wink:)


#9

If a character is not a pure trope, such a character would be received positively. Addictions, physical and mental disabilities are all part of human life, so a character that reflects life, no matter their challenges should be received well.

@JimD has had NPC characters with mental challenges play major roles in his projects. In Zombie Exodus 1, the MC’s sister had need of meds - and in a zombie apocalypse that is something of a major concern. In ZE2, there are potential party members that are mentally ill… what is done with these characters will be seen but @JimD is including characters that are very challenging to write.

The main thing here is this: if you want to write such a MC or NPC, your going to need to do proper research and development for them to be accepted properly. As long as you do the footwork, I believe you can successful being inclusive.


#10

Your question is one I have been really grappling with recently, as well. Both my mother and a cousin have MS (not to mention other instances, such as witnessing the struggles a co-worker of mine went through when both of her children were diagnosed with MD), so this is very personal for me. Like, I almost got angry when people who had never met my mother before saw her at my wedding, which she had already been self-conscious about not being physically able to “dress up” for the way she would have liked, would ask me in hushed toned later “What’s wrong with her?” with this look of horror and pity. And I would explain that nothing is “wrong with her,” she has just been living with MS all of her adult life, but is a strong and active woman, as much as she can be. People like that are my heroes, I have unending respect for those who are just as, if not more, involved in their communities and jobs despite any seemingly unfair limitations imposed by nature or fate, what have you, than those in what I suppose I could call “average” circumstances. I have incorporated an NPC with a disability into our next game because of my desire to bring that respect and recognition to these scenarios. It should be normal and not at all a big deal to see a starring character with a disability, but until that day, representation has to start somewhere and I want to help in some way.

I think the key to avoiding offense is lots of solid research, coming from a supportive/humane POV, and also not making the diagnosis a focal point of the character. As in, they may live with a disability, but they aren’t fully represented by the disability, if that makes sense. I think there is merit in the fact that you have even considered it, are asking for feedback in order to approach it in a positive and constructive way, and I hope you can figure out a way to see your vision through! Good luck!


Looking help writing a disabled PC (Multiple types of disabilites)
#11

That’s a wonderful idea! I would be very interested in playing as the MC of your game.:grin:


#12

Are you just thinking about having the more notable disabilitys? As in more constricting like your examples of blind or deaf. Or are you thinking of having less notably constricting disabilitys too? I for example am a type 1 diabetic. Meaning I’m insulin dependant. It’s not very constricting compared to many other disabilitys but it is one nonetheless.

My point being what types of disabilitys are you going to focus on?


#13

The Netherlands is, unfortunately the same as the US then, here “handicapped” is still very much the official and everyday parlance. Though I’m curious how does the UK address this then?

You can avoid that though, plus the route where you avoid it is more badass too, IMHO. :wink:

Depends, I usually like to play cute guys, so whether or not many of my mc’s would regard being a cyborg as a disability would depend on how it makes them look, particularly if the bionic parts are not just limited to the body (that can be covered with clothes) but are visible in the facial/cranial area as well.


#14

Hey!

I sit in the wheelchair and have a disability. And there are mass different disabilities. Aren’t they calling for “disabled character” or “character with disability”?


#15

So long as everything is done with the proper research and respect, I think it would make for a memorable experience.


#16

Even in Sweden I live, the Swedes still call “handicapped” (Swedish: handikappad), not the official “disability”, (Swedish: funktionshinder). But I don’t give a damn!


#17

It’s funny that this topic came up today. I was just thinking about Vehrn by @Blu and @Mim. The MC in their game starts off with a physical disability. If I remember correctly, the player could choose how the MC lost motor function in their legs ranging from the MC being born as such, the MC suffered an accident that left them wheelchair-bound, or the MC contracted a disease that ultimately left long-lasting complications. It was definitely an interesting take on the protagonist in a sci-fi setting.

Aw man. That feels like a trick question. I have a character I roleplay on Star Wars: The Old Republic that has cybernetic implants to help him breathe. If it somehow broke or was sabotaged, he’d… probably die, honestly. I’d say that still counts as a disability. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Cybernetics aren’t infallible.


#18

That sounds more like cybernetic necessities over cybernetic enhancements, which is likely what Rosemod was referring to. Do they somehow help him to breathe better? As in breathe in previously inhospitable atmospheres or environments? There’s different ranges of cybernetics and their benefits. Most people forget they don’t enhance things, full stop.

For me, cybernetic enhancements is kind of a Bucky Barnes- type deal. Do everything you did before, but even better. Thats what people usually mean by cybernetics in fiction.


#19

Yes, I think it would be cool to play a disabled character, we need more of those. Go for it!


#20

Another example of language, wheelchair bound is another term it’s best to avoid, (as is wheelchair confined) since wheelchairs are a mobility aid. They’re not confining.

Depends on the setting. Depends on how your diabetes is controlled. After an apocalypse your ability to get insulin, if you need it, might be severely hampered. A protagonist with type 1 diabetes might have a different set of issues they need to contend with. I’ve got type 2. I could probably survive after the apocalypse without my diabetes medication, if I had a decent diet. Getting hold of a stash of my other pills would be a priority though, since without those, and without my diabetes medication, I’d be absolutely exhausted all of the time. I’d also want my antidepressants, since going cold turkey off of those is not pleasant. And without my antidepressants my functioning is going to be severely limited.

That was a good link with good explanations of why disability is preferred over handicapped.

I’m in several minds over people first language. I’ve read articles both for and against it. I’ll use it if people specifically ask me to.

I’d like to see more games written by people, using their own experiences. I’d like to see a game with an autistic protagonist, written by an autistic person. Particularly if that game isn’t specifically about being autistic, but is instead about kicking ass, solving crimes, building a robot army, or whatever.

I’d like to see a game where being Deaf is an asset, like in this short-story that I read. Where it’s not seen as a disability, but instead it’s those with hearing who are impaired. I’d love a sci-fi game, where the aliens show up, and they don’t speak using sounds, but instead gestures, and it takes a Deaf character to be the one who ends up facilitating communication with them.

I was also vaguely thinking of a game, that’s like Flowers by Algernon, or The Speed of Dark, which tackles the subject of curing someone with a learning disability, autism (respectively.) But that I think would need to be handled with a great degree of sensitivity. (I was reading an article yesterday about a form of treatment that might be able to help autistic people, and one man, who did find it useful, but was concerned that it would mean he’d lose what makes him unique and special.)

I think I’d be most interesting in playing games with disabled characters, written by people who have actually had those experiences.