Now, me being who I am, couldn’t just let that sit. I have a huge respect for anyone who’s gone through a horrible time and come through the other side stronger. Whether it’s with being bullied, abusive childhood/marriage, a horrible disability, PTSD or whatever. I’ve been through a number of rough times in my life and I try to bring them out in my writing. So, I ended up contacting Krishna and we talked about his trials of being vision impaired.
Yes, when our conversation started out, I used the term blind. It was a common term when I was growing up and I didn’t know that the use of the word had changed. Krishna kindly made fun of me and asked what rock I’d been living under, before explaining that the correct term was visually impaired. Now don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t nasty about it, but joked back with me like any of my friends naturally would. We spent a few hours or almost five talking about the book series, talking about how it was to grow up blind (cough … cough … visually impaired), and different things about the visually impaired community.
It was quite the eye opener. During our talk though, I could help but forming a guild of visually impaired players and imagining how that would be like for them in a game with good and asshat players alike. What would their Nightmare start entail? How would players act towards them? What would PKers do to them? How would that react to being ganked? Those thoughts all came together to form the story in book 5 & 6. Well, at least the introduction to the Uten Syn Guild. I plan to have them be a continuing part of the story, albeit not like my friends Sarka and Yun.
There were be a bunch of interesting aspects of the Uten Syn Guild and players’ reactions to the visually impaired players inside and outside the game. While Krishna gave me some great insight into the culture, he unfortunately was in-between jobs and didn’t have time to spend going over a few of the points I didn’t immediately catch. One was what the visually impaired community calls individuals who discriminate against other people due to how they’re told by their non-visually impaired friends how they look. You know, the whole issue where a visually impaired person is told by their friend that their date is homely and not hot, so the visually impaired person breaks up with them because they’re not visually attractive to other people. Yes, this is truly a thing in the community.
Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the term when he told me and he didn’t get back to me when I asked. So, I was at a loss for what the slang term for these people were. I did a bunch of google searches trying to catch the slang term, but to no avail. The only thing I could do was make up a term that fit the type of person which, in book 5, was “seers.” Yep, I made that term up. If someone wants to offer the term their group of friends use for these types of people, I would be grateful, but until then, I’ll be sticking with “seers” as the series slang for these individuals.
I also wanted to thank the visually impaired fans who have so far left reviews about the Uten Syn Guild. I hope to do your community proud and look forward to any tips you’re willing to offer to make the in-game players more real. So far, it seems like I’m mostly doing a good job.
In my school, there was a lot of support for the physically handicapped students. You didn’t mess with those students, or the whole student class would have risen up to beat their ass if you messed with any of them. Well, mostly. There was a young guy named John who was not so nice to people and he sometimes ran into issues, but other then that, everyone was real supportive.
I bring that up because of a review that was left by a visually impaired Australian fan who didn’t have the same support from students when he was in school. He actually had to fight a bunch of asshats who thought it would be funny to pick on the blink kid. The ass whoopings he learned to give the loud mouths were very educational. I might have to add someone like that into the current list of visually impaired players inside the game.
Anyway, I plan to bring other handicapped players into The World as well. The feedback I’ve been getting from the various fans have been super motivating and fits with idea I’ve been using for Star’s group of friends. You know, the whole “island of misfit toys” theme. That theme does actually fit my life and those people I call friends. Well, all of us except for Mike. Mike was always the cool kid who could jump between various types of groups of friends in school and be accepted by everyone.
On a final note, I wanted to thank everyone for the support for The World series and hope you enjoyed finding out how the Uten Syn guild came to be.