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Colorado model’s skin appears in new Call of Duty games

Abena, who lives with a skin condition that changed her image, modeled for a new Call of Duty character named Nova.

DENVER — As game developers bring more representation into their games, Colorado artist and model Abena told 9NEWS she is thrilled to see her unique skin appear in a video game played by millions of people. 

Vitiligo, which can drastically change someone’s appearance when the body attacks cells that produce pigment, first started to appear when Abena was in her early twenties. 

Abena’s skin has been transformed into a new video game character Nova, which will appear in the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone Mobile games. 

Credit: Activision
Abena's skin is represented through the character Nova on the right

“It’s a huge milestone for people with vitiligo," Abena said. "It’s an introduction to a completely different world."

About 12 years later, Abena has fully embraced her image through her art and modeling. Game developers for Call of Duty took notice and asked her to model for Nova. 

Credit: Abena
Abena is a Colorado artist and model living with vitiligo

“I’ve actually never held a gun before, but it was you know, it was me," she said. "It was interesting to see, but it made me look like a badass."

The highly popular first-person shooter franchise, which began in 2003, registers millions of players per month. 

Nova’s skin is nearly identical to Abena’s image, complete with bracelets and tattoos unique to her look. She said it will help bring awareness to people living with vitiligo. 

Credit: Activision
Characters in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 game

“It’s almost like people are walking into my shoes in a sense, but through an alternative universe in a fantasy world," she said. "It’s really a huge step for our kind, for vitiligans. One step at a time, it’s going to continue to elevate our voice.” 

Modern Warfare 2 will be released Oct. 28. Warzone Mobile is expected to be released sometime in 2023.

If you have any information about this story or would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com

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