Zelda, Italian Sign Language arrives in the world of video games

Born from the mind of the Japanese Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, The Legend of Zelda is one of the most important video game sagas of all time. To celebrate the long-awaited arrival of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the young deaf people, driven by the initiative of Natalia Colombo, godmother of the project and a great fan of the saga, have created a glossary of terms in Italian sign language (LIS ) taken directly from the video game and shared it online making it available to everyone.

The project

Although this project is carried out in Italian sign language, its realization also saw the involvement of the deaf communities of Japan, India and America, with the aim of uniting and inspiring deaf enthusiasts from all over the world. With the patronage of ENS (National Body for the protection and assistance of the Deaf) and the Italian Youth Deaf Committee, the initiative was born from the feeling with the protagonist Link, globally remembered for having almost never uttered a word and has the aim to expand the LIS vocabulary and to create awareness by exploiting the power of a medium that connects millions of people in every country without distinction. Sign languages ​​are used by over 72 million people worldwide. For this reason and to raise awareness among nations to guarantee the inviolable rights of deaf people, in 2018 the UN established the International Day of Sign Languages, set every year on 23 September. Sign languages ​​are languages ​​in all respects because they have their own grammar, syntax, community of reference, they evolve over time and are transmitted from generation to generation. They are languages ​​which, unlike vocal ones, exploit the visual channel to convey both verbal forms (the signs themselves) and non-verbal aspects, such as intonation, communicated through facial expressions and body movements. Furthermore, sign languages ​​have mechanisms of evolutionary dynamics and territorial variation (the “dialects”) and represent a very important tool of cultural transmission.

The video game as a means of inclusion

Disability has always been a challenge for the video game industry and the 360° inclusion of the most fragile people encounters a particular internal push also thanks to prizes awarded to those products that manage to introduce technologies capable of shortening these distances. In any case, the video game has always and by nature been an accessible means of entertainment for deaf people thanks to the presence of subtitles and the possibility of actively participating in the course of events that make this medium a favorite of the community. Nintendo Italia supported the initiative, recognizing the glossary and supporting the community of young deaf people in this wonderful project of connection and awareness.