The Last Cultural Conquest of Sign Language: The Videogame


English translation: Sara Gómez Herrero

It's here. Sign language has reached the world of videogames and does so with strength. The videogame is called ‘Moss’ and is expected to reach Play Station 4 this winter.

Quill, protagonista del videojuego Moss que se expresa en lengua de signos americana
Moss Videogame

Quill, the little mouse mane character of this videogame first appeared in August, introducing itself using American Sign Language (ASL): ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you, my name’s Quill’.

‘Moss’ videogame was presented during the most important videogame convention in the world, Electronic Entertainment Expo E3. All the press coincided on affirming that the game is surprising and Quill charms with sign language.

Moss, a Virtual Reality Videogame

Moss is a puzzle-like virtual reality videogame with action and adventure. You can enjoy Moss using the virtual reality glasses PS VR. This is the videogame synopsis:
You can explore a colourful fantasy world in Moss, an action-adventure starred by a little mouse that must fight against the forces of evil. His name’s Quill, and the videogame’s approach guarantees the presence of challenging puzzles, threatening opponents, etc. Ready to begin an epic journey for virtual reality devices? (3djuegos)
Unlike other virtual reality videogames, the person who plays is not the one who has the action immersed in the virtual world, but who accompanies and interacts with the protagonist, Quill the mouse, who know that the player is watching him.

In the following video, you can see easily how virtual reality videogame and the player who uses the PS VR glasses interaction is:

Why Sing Language in a Videogame?

Moss’s creators wanted to help the player to solve the puzzles when he/she is stuck. Quill is not a simple avatar, but he smartly reacts to the kind of playing and helps to solve the puzzles, for which they introduced some kind of mime at first, but finally, the preferred to introduced fill ASL. Richard Lico, animation director of Polyarc, said:

Choosing sign language accomplishes this goal, while also benefiting a drastically underrepresented section of gamers
When Richard posted on Twitter the video in which Quill was introducing himself in sign language, he obtained more than 10,000 retweets and 31,000 likes, so he was pleasantly surprised and he’s convinced that we should not be surprised that in the future more videogames will use sign language as a way to connect with players.

The Videogame is the Last Cultural Conquest of Sign Language

In Unusualverse you can find a great number of contributions from deaf people and sign language to the world of culture: cinema, literature, music, dance, etc. UNESCO recognizes the videogame as one of the culture industries, specifically in the audiovisual and creative media sector.

Moss is the first commercial videogame in history that incorporates sign language as a form of expression of one of its characters, what is made in a charming way and fully integrated into history, so it could be considered the last cultural conquest that sign language lacked to perform in. Hopefully, as the animation director at Moss said, it will be the first of many that will come.


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