Best Deaf Video Game Characters

Video games are the largest entertainment medium in the world, and from AAA blockbuster titles to the smaller indie games that capture the hearts of fans, there’s never been a time when so many incredible gaming experiences were accessible. That being said representation and accessibility remain two key areas where the industry can use some improvement.

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From female protagonists and better accessibility settings for gamers of all backgrounds, it matters that both publishers and developers focus on making gaming a space for everyone. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing aren’t often in leading roles or main characters, and in video games, there are way fewer characters dealing with it in comparison to the number of people who play games and happen to either be hard of hearing or deaf.


7 Quill (Moss)

The main character from the hit PlayStation VR title Moss is named Quill. Though this tiny critter has never been confirmed to be canonically deaf, it does primarily use American Sign Language to communicate.

This doesn’t only normally the use of ASL to a whole new hearing of gamers, but it adds a layer of accessibility to the deaf or hard of hearing that is appreciated. Quill may not be deaf, but the developers of Moss went out of their way to make sure the deaf community was seen and understood.

6 Sumio Kodai (Silver Case)

This entry contains spoilers for The Silver Case, so be warned. Sumio Kodai is a character in the visual novel The Silver Case, a game by revered game developer Goichi Suda/Suda51. It is a detective tale set in a fictional city called the 24 Districts. Kodai is a detective who works in the Heinous Crimes Unit hiding a secret.

As a kid, he was beaten to a point where his eardrums were ruptured and he was left deaf, an attack that resulted from him and his friends trying to save a girl from an awful assault. He hides his deafness to protect his identity as his main goal is to ultimately capture and get revenge on the men responsible for both his disability and the attack on the young girl.

5 Shizune Hakamichi (Kajawa Shoujo)

Back in 2012 Four Leaf Studios released an interesting visual novel called Kajawa Shoujo that focused on the story of six individuals and the disabilities they lived with. The core six characters were made up of one man and five women, each of which had a unique disability. Shizune Hakamichi was an 18-year-old girl who was deaf.

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Alongside the character signing in the game to communicate, her friend Misha would also translate. Hakamichi is a great student who works hard and is very task-oriented, which goes a long way in showing that people with deafness are just as capable, if not more capable, than those without a disability.

4 Dane (The Quiet Man)

Despite The Quiet Man becoming the subject of internet memes thanks to the perceived quality of the overall game, it did happen to feature a deaf protagonist named Dane. The game focuses on how the trauma Dane endures as a child pushes him to create a set of drawings featuring a character he names “The Quiet Man”.

The game is listed as an action-adventure beat ’em up and was released in 2018 for PC and the PS4. The game ultimately received poor reviews, with most outlets sighting the combat and story as critically weak points of the overall experience.

3 Man-Bat (Batman: Arkham Knight)

Man-Bat isn’t exactly an A-List villain in the world of Batman, but the villainous beast has made an appearance or two throughout the batman arkham series of games from developer Rocksteady. He was once a scientist who worked towards a solution for his chronic deafness, a rather rare condition. His experimentation resulted in him becoming a human/bat hybrid.

Thanks to his ability to use echolocation he overcame his chronic deafness but was left with a new reality in which he was a living nightmare. Thankfully Batman can eventually heal the scientist and return him to his human form. Just be prepared for the astonishingly viral jump scare moment the developers put in the game as a way to introduce Man-Bat to the player.

2 Hawkeye (Marvel’s Avengers)

Hawkeye may not be the most popular member of Marvel’s Avengers, but there are plenty of people out there who consider the marksman to be quite the hero. Clint Barton, known as Hawkeye, goes through a lot in his story, and one of the big moments is when he becomes deaf.

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Tea Marvel Cinematic Universe recently adapted this story beat in the Disney+ show called Hawkeye, where it was explained that he lost his hearing as a result of all of the conflicts he fought alongside superhumans. Marvel’s Avengers added an entire story-based expansion to the base game focusing on Hawkeye and time travel, where-in Clint is also canonically deaf. Players must help him save the future by overcoming a hyper-intelligent power-hungry version of the Hulk, named Maestro.

1 Hailey Cooper (Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales)

Millions of people were excited when Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was first announced as it became the first video game to star the new-age web-slinging hero. Sure it delivered on that promise of giving an engaging and captivating Miles Morales video game experience, but it also happened to feature the first deaf black character in a AAA video game release.

The character’s name is Hailey Cooper and she’s a street artist players come across in the game that does murals of Miles Morales’ Spider-Man. She’s played by actress Natasha Ofili, who also happens to be deaf, and developers Insomniac Games expressed their focus on displaying more inclusive characters in their video games.

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