We’ve been talking a lot about representation during Disability in Horror Month, but we’ve mostly focused on film and online content creation. Before the end of the month, we wanted to turn our attention to horror gaming, and showcase four disabled female characters in horror video games. It started as a top ten, but sadly there really weren’t many to chose from. We searched across Sony, Microsoft and PC platform archives – as well as more casual games such as mobile apps and online slots.
If you’re looking for video games which don’t stigmatize disability and mental illness, check out Asylum Jam.
4. Clive Barker’s Jericho
A video game conceived by the author of The Hellbound Heart – the novella which inspired Hellraiser, Clive Barker’s Jericho is a squad-based horror FPS game based on an original concept and story. The name refers to the Jericho Team, who battle supernatural threats on behalf of the government. Cpl. Simone Cole is a core member of the team, and the only one without paranormal abilities. She was diagnosed with autism aged four, and exhibits extreme fear of being touched as well as being a talented mathematician and programmer.
3. Wolfenstein: The New Order
One of gaming’s longest running horror franchises, Wolfenstein’s ninth entry The New Order reintroduces character Caroline Becker after a traumatic back injury means that she now requires a wheelchair. While storming the castle in the previous game, Becker is shot by Hans Grosse. However, she returns in The New Order, remembering very little about the shooting and having spent six months in hospital. It does lose points for magically restoring her ability to walk through the ‘Miraculous Cure’ trope by the end of the game though.
2. Silent Hill
Making her debut in the first Silent Hill game, Alessa Gillespie is one of the main driving forces behind the events of the series. A violent childhood has resulted in her suffering severe disfigurement, as well as depression, phobias and suicidal thoughts. Many of the games monsters are manifestations of her fears and trauma, such as The Groaner – representative of her cynophobia.
Released in 2017, Perception probably the most recent horror game to introduce a disabled character. The game, which was released last month for PC tells the story of Cassie, a blind woman who perceives the world using echolocation. The player is tasked with navigating a foreboding manner using Cassie’s method of interpreting her surroundings. The game is built around Cassie’s character; the player also has a cane which they can tap to provide a complete view of any given room using the echolocation system, as well as taking photographs of surroundings and having an operator describe them.