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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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