We’ve added Mass Effect to our list for the representation that it brings amongst its characters within the disabled, neurodiverse and chronically ill communities.
It’s often hard to find characters that represent chronic illness and disability well within video games. It’s important to be able to see these characters as full characters, rather than solely focusing on their disability or chronic illness as the only element of their character. Whilst the representations aren’t perfect, they seem to challenge the usual issues in erasure of these characters in games too. (We looked at this insightful article from Able Gamers).
It’s important to also note that the through line of the story revolves around cooperation being the key to survival, which is reflected in the gameplay with each character having different, combo-able skills (there is even a line that explicitly says the reason the Protheans failed to stop the Reapers was they were too homogeneous).
We’re able to see characters in-game who are immunocompromised, characters with conditions like osteoporosis (Vrolik syndrome), and characters who are neurodiverse. These characters are not being hidden, or ‘fixed’ within the ME universe, and instead offer a place for more players to see themselves within games.
“What starts as a routine mission to an agrarian outpost quickly becomes the opening salvo in an epic war. As the newly appointed Executive Officer of the SSV Normandy, you’ll assemble and lead an elite squad of heroes into battle after heart-pounding battle. Each decision you make will impact not only your fate, but the destiny of the entire galaxy in the Mass Effect trilogy.”
Key Features in Mass Effect
- Immersive and exciting storytelling
- Sci-Fi universe to explore
- Strategic combat
- Decisions matter