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Name signs are important to the deaf community. When we give a name sign to a person or an object, we not only sum up their uniqueness in a sign, but it also becomes easier for us to refer to that person or an object in everyday conversation. There’s a chance that the name sign will take off quickly in this way, once we start using that sign and inadvertently giving it to other people to save in their mental dictionaries. In the entire time that we’d been developing Deafverse, we never came up with a name sign for the game.

Instead, we felt that it was a task for the community. To encourage this, we hosted a contest for deaf youth to make their own filmed submissions with their Deafverse name sign suggestions on Facebook and Instagram. The prizes were:

  • Grand Prize: Become a character in World Two with narration by Justin Perez (@JustinPerezVV on Facebook and Instagram) and art by Carlisle Robinson (@carodoodles on Instagram)!
  • Finalist Prize: Illustrations by Carlisle Robinson!
  • Prizes for all participants: Swag Bag (stickers, posters, printed Player Strategy Guide)!

The contest lasted for one week from May 11 to May 18, and we received many wonderful submissions. After a few rounds of deliberations, Starla won the Deafverse Name Sign Contest with her name sign, and will be appearing in World Two as a character!

Her sign begins with the sign for “Deaf” and transitions into the sign for “journey”. Starla’s name sign is fun, positive, and easy to use in casual conversation, but most of all, her sign echoes the essence of Deafverse. Deafness is a journey in itself and full of situations that can be approached differently based on the abilities, resources and strategies the deaf person has in their toolbox.

Starla, from John Beck Elementary School in Pennsylvania, enjoys adventure games and relishes the idea of playing as a deaf character in an adventure game. She aspires to get involved in drawing or artistic expression such as graphic design, anime, manga/comics, and painting one day!

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