Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

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arisan
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Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#1 Post by arisan » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:41 am

Hey there,
I've recently been working on an essay (the academic sort) that has to do with disability narratives and visual novels. One (potential) obstacle to developing it further is a lack of primary texts.

Now, this started, quite predictably with Katawa Shoujo, and I'd like to know: are there other VNs that feature the lived experience of disability and/or chronic illness as a major part of the story?

To be more specific, it would be best if it constituted a defining aspect of either the entire game, or the entirety of one 'route,' but in the case of the latter, not simply as an ending or consequence of the rest of the story.
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#2 Post by indoneko » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:15 pm

Is this limited to medically acknowledged physical illness only?

In "Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien", someone got an accident and paralyzed. In "EF Tales", someone got brain problem (dementia) despite the young age... and similar theme also used in anime "Isshukan Friend" - or "One Week Friend". In "Little Buster", someone also got brain problem (narcolepsy). In "Air", many people got mental/brain problem and one of them ended up died (unless someone magically saves her). In "Narcissu", some people are waiting for their final day with a terminal heart disease. In "Clannad", someone is physically weak since childhood... spoiler warning... and finally ended up dead after giving birth (unless someone, which can't raise his arm due to broken collar bone, can magically saves her).
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#3 Post by arisan » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:42 pm

Thanks for that quite extensive answer!
indoneko wrote:Is this limited to medically acknowledged physical illness only? [/size]
Right, that was a bit vague. My scope is limited to physical disability and illness, but not necessarily diagnosed medically.
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#4 Post by parttimestorier » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:05 pm

I'd love to read your essay when it's done! I'm not sure I know about any more with physical illnesses or disabilities that indoneko didn't already list, but I can think of some good ones for mental illness:

All of the love interests in The Fruit of Grisaia have some serious issues with past trauma and whatnot. Although it's very long, so it might not be feasible for you analyze it depending on when your deadline is.

Dejection: An Ode and Asphyxia both deal with depression, and are pretty short and generally good.

And the protagonist of Saya no Uta has something seriously wrong with his brain, but it's not a particular illness that actually exists or anything, so it might not be as useful to you.

Come to think of it, there's also Love at First Sight, in which the main heroine only has one eye. But in the sense of being a fantasy-style cyclops, not a normal human with an eye missing, so it might not be exactly what you're looking for either. Hope some of those help!
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#5 Post by indoneko » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:00 pm

Those titles were just the ones that pop up in my mind without digging my HDD first. If you need a complete list of VNs that deals with illness, you might want to search VNDB :
https://vndb.org/i482

Btw... are you only focusing on the narration from the patient (i.e the firsthand experience of the illness/disability), or do you also write about the people who supports the patient?

I'm looking forward to read your essay~ :3
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#6 Post by arisan » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:59 am

Well, looks like I have my work cut out for me sorting through these o:
Thanks for the recommendations~
indoneko wrote:Tare you only focusing on the narration from the patient (i.e the firsthand experience of the illness/disability), or do you also write about the people who supports the patient?
In the case of Katawa Shoujo I hadn't considered this much, since the two characters I'd focused on (Hisao and Rin) were both themselves disabled. They also, in a sense, supported each other. I'd say that stories from people other than the ill/disabled persons themselves would factor into it, but it would be important to have reliable (in narrative/POV terms) access to the ill/disabled person's story, still.
parttimestorier wrote:there's also Love at First Sight, in which the main heroine only has one eye. But in the sense of being a fantasy-style cyclops, not a normal human with an eye missing, so it might not be exactly what you're looking for either. Hope some of those help!
This looks quite interesting, and in line with other ideas rolling around in my head, if not the essay at hand. Thanks for the heads-up on this one!
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#7 Post by barefootchuck39 » Wed May 10, 2017 1:43 pm

I just thought of one anime: Yuuki Yuna wants to be a hero.
Start around eps 6 or 7, they experienced physical disabilities like one eye blind, mute, cannot taste anything etc. Also from the beginning one character was on the wheel chair the whole time.

The Fruit of Grisaia is more like mental illness not physical ones.

Witcher (book and video game) Geralt cannot reproduce due to mutation... So not a normal medical case study but it's something...

Guts from berserk (manga and anime): lost one arm and blind in one eye, and still fights like a madman.

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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#8 Post by trooper6 » Sat May 13, 2017 3:39 pm

You should check out Locked In as well.
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#9 Post by Katy133 » Sat May 13, 2017 7:21 pm

C14 Dating has a protagonist who has diabetes (I don't think it's mentioned within the game whether she has Type 1 or 2).

Will you be publicly posting your essay? I'd be interested in reading it.
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#10 Post by RetroLiving » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:55 am

they have a Disabitly free VN made a while back it's good and long near 50 hours

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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#11 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:06 am

Don't know if you're still looking for VNs with this criteria, but Kana - Little Sister is about a brother coming to grips with the fact that his little sister has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and accepting that she will die. Many of the scenes occur in the hospital and in flashbacks where he wishes he had treated her differently.

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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#12 Post by noeinan » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:54 pm

Narcissu is about two people with terminal illnesses, and C-14 Dating Sim has a disabled protagonist (diabetes), as well as several disabled love interests. (One has a prosthetic arm, and another is deaf.) I will have to play Narcissu again now that I am disabled, and have had several back and forths about terminal diagnoses, to evaluate it again. C-14 Dating Sim did an excellent job on its portrayal of disability.
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#13 Post by arisan » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:39 pm

Well, wasn't expecting this thread to get more responses o:
Thanks for all your recommendations!
C 14 sounds interesting, what with the blurred lines between chronic illness and disability.
Also, I'll admit I hadn't quite thought of Geralt's condition in The Witcher that way, but then my exposure to that's been limited to watching other people play it.

As a status update(?), I'll be trying to work this topic into a passable research proposal for further studies *fingers crossed.*
I did complete an essay on reading disability in VNs for a class on literary research, specifically about Rin's route in Katawa Shoujo, but it needs some work in the theoretical framework. I'm thinking of making a shorter (the current draft being just over 20 pages, double-spaced), less academic version for posting online sometime in the future.
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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#14 Post by Zelan » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:15 pm

I would also love to see the finished essay/a version of it once it's finished. ^_^

I can't think of many more examples, and by this point it might be too late, but here are a few anyway:

For Better or Worse features a protagonist who went blind while in high school due to an accident. However, I can't remember how much of the story focused on her coping with her sudden loss of vision and how much focused solely on the romance aspect. It should also be mentioned that this is only a demo and has been put on hold indefinitely.

Arena Circus has two characters who suffer from a chronic disease that can be debilitating enough to prevent its victims to get out of bed and can even be terminal. However, the disease is fictional (to the best of my knowledge); furthermore, the VN has a fantasy setting and thus the ways that the characters deal with the illness is unique to the setting and doesn't really correspond to anything in the real world. Lastly, this VN is also a demo (although a longer one).

This last one is really more of an aside, but Birch Sapling is a short game featuring a character with vitiligo. Vitiligo isn't really a disability, per se, since it doesn't alter anything besides appearance, but it is permanent and (depending on your choices) it is discussed at length within the game.

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Re: Disability and Chronic Illness in VNs

#15 Post by isak grozny » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:19 am

it's quite short and the disability is only mentioned in passing, but the protagonist of my shot text game, minor fall MAJOR LIFT, uses a walking-stick!

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