Posted on November 08 2018 by Michaela El-Ters
In the past several years, visual media like movies and video games have progressively become more inclusive by portraying all kinds of people. From The Shape of Water to Avatar: The Last Airbender, to The Dragon Prince and Moss, it proves that these characters aren’t defined by their disability (no matter what it is), and it instead becomes their strength. In particular, I’ve sign language to be the most interesting inclusion because it requires hiring interpreters on staff to ensure that the signing motions are accurate when the characters communicate.
I think sign language would be such a natural fit for Link in the Zelda universe, and the animated graphic by inquisitor (linked below) beautifully illustrates what it would like. After all, Link’s status as a silent protagonist already confines him to the predetermined dialogue boxes that the player chooses, or exaggerated hand gestures. And in Hyrule Warriors, both Proxi and Aryll serve as interpreters for Link and his Toon counterpart. But what if Nintendo when one step beyond and included ASL, a method of communication that many people use and would be able to understand and relate to? Link could communicate freely through sign language, and his companion could serve as both his guide and interpreter on his journey. It would be a great way to include the “silent protagonist” formula while changing it up just enough to be more inclusive and relatable. What do you think? Do you think Link should be able to communicate through sign language, and his companion could serve as his interpreter? Let us know in the comments!
Feature art by inquisitor