Madej Co-Authors Book on Disabilities in Video Games

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Krystina Madej, research associate in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, co-authored the book Fragile Avatars? Representation of Disability in Video Games published by the University of Lower Silesia in December 2021.

In the book, Madej, a retired professor of the practice in the School of Literature, Media and Communication, focuses on how children’s perception of disability is established and maintained or altered through playing video games in which characters with disabilities are represented. Through an analysis of 40 games played by children ages 3-12, she maps development against narrative and game play to show how perception of disability evolves.

The 40 games were chosen to represent a broad range of physical disabilities and game genres. Games for children 3+ included Backyard Baseball Junior, in which the player Kenny uses a wheelchair, and Weakless, which features two main characters named respectively The Blind One and The Deaf One. Games for children 7+ included Overcooked, which includes a chef in a wheelchair in its roster; Moss, a VR game with the deaf protagonist Quilll; and Ether One, which follows Jean's journey into dementia.


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