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Representation Of Disability In Science Fiction Versus Real Life

Thursday 23 November 2017


From The Student Newspaper:


Final Fantasy XV
Screenshot from Final Fantasy XV
(Image: BagoGames via Flickr)

Representation of disability in science fiction versus real life

By Isa Viegelmann
November 21, 2017

From space travel to superpowers, science fiction has always presented fantastical possibilities. But when it comes to disability, it doesn’t have the best track record.

Does the idealism of sci-fi have a place for representing disability? More importantly, can it be done well?


Shekinah Alfaro, a research assistant at the University of Kentucky, finds her representation in Noctis Lucis Caelum, the hero of Final Fantasy XV. Shekinah has an unknown condition similar to myalgic encephalopathy (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome) that manifests as pain and long bouts of sleep, particularly when she eats grains. Noctis, like Shekinah, was in a coma as a child. He tends to need sleep more than other characters, and may make his friends late by oversleeping.

In battle, he can also go into stasis, meaning he can’t use his magic when he exhausts all his Mana Points. These points can only be recovered when he takes cover from the fight.

Noctis isn’t a perfect representation of her disability, but the fact that sleep is part of his character is something she appreciates.

“I would have ideally liked to have seen more impact, but considering this is a story not about an illness but a man who has it, I think they did good,” she comments.


Full article…



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