1 - SCHOOLS
All four, Harry Potter, Wizard101 and Pirate101 and Deaf World have schools that caters specifically for that group. Harry Potter has Hogwarts for Wizards. Wizard101 have Ravenwood for its Wizard students, Pirate101 have Skull Island Schools for its arggh pirates! And for the Deaf World, we have Deaf Schools and Institutes for the deaf children.
2 - DORMS
Harry Potter, Wizard101 and Pirate101 all have dorms where we stay in year round except for summer breaks right? Well there are two groups of Deaf Education - one is a regular deaf school that you shuttle to every day on the bus morning and evening and the other one is Deaf School Institutes which has dorms as well that allows deaf kids to go and stay year round except in the summer time. Some schools are both but give you both options, stay at school year round except summer or shuttle every day if you live close enough.
2 - SURVIVAL SKILLS
3 - HISTORY AND CULTURE
All four also teach its audience its specific history and culture. For example, Hogswarts students learn about past Wizards, their accomplishments and the ability they can do for the future. Pirate101 teaches us about different kind of pirates, their success (or not) and what we pirates can do. Wizard101 teaches us about the history of Ambrose, Morganthe, Malistaire. We even learn about Bartleby and Grandma Raven and how we all connect in the spiral. Deaf People also learn a lot about deaf culture, deaf pride and deaf history. This is what aids us to understand where we are coming from and what we can and should look forward to. There even is a "Deaf Culture" class available at Gallaudet University which is a college for the Deaf.
4 - TOURNAMENTS
All four have tournaments. Hogswart have Quidditch tournaments. Wizard101 has PvP Tourneys or Pigswick Tournaments. Pirate101 will have theirs soon someday but they do have PvP for now (hurry up, ship pvp!). Although P101 Central does set up P101 PvP Tournaments. Lastly, Deaf Schools have Sports Tournaments. They all would go up against other similar (wizard, pirate, deaf) schools. And they get to meet similar people from other countries or states or worlds which promotes community and friendship outside their own school. In a way, Pirate101 and Wizard101 players meet other Wizard101 and Pirate101 players in other countries like the United Kingdom. Do you know how many times when I meet someone new in-game and am surprised where they really are from?
5 - COMMON ENEMY
All four also have a common enemy. For instance, Harry Potter has Voldemort, Pirate101 - the Armada Elite, Wizard101 - Malistaire and Morganthe, .. for Deaf people, it's certain groups out there. There are terms that the deaf culture uses. But I do not like using terms so I will not mention it. But there are certain groups of people who want to close deaf schools and encourage cochlea implants (which is like taking the magic or the pirate personality out of you) because this would "transform" the deaf child into a hearing one. This is a very, very touchy issue between both worlds. I will not delve deeper because this is not the place to speak about it. But you get the gist of the issue.
6 - COMMON THEME
All four also have a common theme. All has the child trying to find its own identity. Who am I? What do I do? How do I progress through life? What about friends? But all four end up going to specific schools, learning new stuff and there they find friends to bond with which helps you find your own identity and your own place in the world. Not all deaf children are lucky enough to have a deaf family. For instance, I was born into a hearing world. Just like Harry Potter was born then placed with a "muggle" family because his own wizard parents passed away. Pirate101, we are on a journey to find our parents or at least find out what happened to them. Wizard101, I am starting to wonder if we were born out of magic because there's no mention of parents lol! But you get the idea. We all don't have perfect homes even in real life, which makes us want to find our own identity.
Okay, what is the point of all of this? Well, I think one of the reasons we connect so well to the games and movies is because it reflects our lives in some way. Also it's the reason why movies and games like Harry Potter, Wizard101 and Pirate101 are a great success. They use themes and topics that are common without us ever knowing it. The themes and topics in all of them exists everywhere, in every school, in every home, in every country. They make it relatable and easy understood that we all are ready to join in. Otherwise, we wouldn't be as connected to the movies and games as we find ourselves to be. They use themes and topics that exists even in the Deaf World. When writing stories, creating games, making a screenplay, anything.. If you use themes or topics we all are familiar with, we connect with it so much more easily. You will draw a larger audience. This is why young teen books are also very successful and you constantly see the books turn into movies. It shows that no matter our age, we all want to be heroes in a way, saving the day, finding our identity and wanting to be surrounded by friends and happiness no matter what our backgrounds might be. Who wouldn't want that? Me, I just want fireworks every time I succeed in real life. Come on, why not?! So that way I can stand in a super hero pose and say "Yes that's right, I did it..." with my cape flying behind me. "I rock!" Life would be even more amazing that way. Otherwise, I'll settle to play in Wizard101 and Pirate101 where at least it gives me badges and huge text saying "YAY you leveled up" or "YAY, you got a badge".. Life is so sweet to me.
But, if you feel alone out there and you feel like you have nowhere to belong, don't feel that way.. We all are waiting for you in Wizard101 and Pirate101. We'll join with you for your own journey and we'll make it super fabulous that when you turn off the computer, you're smiling. There's space for everyone!
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