Aurora: The New League of Legends Champion Representing Neurodiversity

Aurora: The New League of Legends Champion Representing Neurodiversity

21. June 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

Aurora, the latest champion in League of Legends, is notable not just for her design and abilities but also for her representation of neurodiversity, specifically autism.

A Vastaya bunny from Freljord, Aurora has the unique ability to see and traverse the spiritual realm, making her a healer and friend to tormented spirits. This ability is a manifestation of her neurodivergence, offering a fresh perspective in the world of Runeterra.

The Creation of Aurora

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A Journey Six Years in the Making

According to the developers’ articleAurora in Depth,” her creation began six years ago. Initially conceived as a bunny witch mastering spiritual magic, her development fragmented into other champions like Sylas and Yone.

However, the idea of Aurora endured and was revived under the guidance of Riot Lexical. This revival allowed the developers to infuse Aurora with both her magical abilities and her autistic condition.

Representation and Inspiration

In Runeterra, there’s no specific term to describe Aurora as autistic. However, Riot Games’ developers drew inspiration from personal and community experiences to craft her character.

Much like many people on the autism spectrum, Aurora is sensitive to crowds, loud noises, and prolonged social interactions. When overwhelmed by these stimuli, she uses her ability to enter the spiritual realm as an escape.

The team incorporated details such as tiptoeing, common among autistic individuals, to enhance the character’s authenticity. Aurora not only reflects common experiences of those with autism but also challenges conventional expectations, promoting a deeper understanding of neurodiversity.

Aurora’s Abilities

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Spiritual Abjuration (Passive)

When attacking enemies, Aurora exorcises the spirits of those she damages. These exorcised spirits follow her, healing her and granting additional movement speed.

Cursed Souls (Q)

Aurora fires a projectile that curses hit enemies. Reactivating the ability attracts active curses towards her, dealing damage to enemies struck along the path.

Through the Veil (W)

Aurora leaps in a chosen direction, traversing a portal to the spiritual realm, and becomes invisible for a short period upon landing.

Spectral Burst (E)

Aurora jumps backward while opening a window to the spiritual realm, emitting a pulse of spiritual energy that damages and slows enemies hit.

Between Worlds (R)

Aurora leaps in a chosen direction, emitting a shockwave that damages and slows hit enemies. She then creates an area that traps enemies inside and allows her to teleport within it.

A Step Towards Greater Inclusion

The inclusion of Aurora in League of Legends marks a significant step towards broader and more humanized representation of neurodiversity in video games. Aurora offers a unique gameplay experience while opening important dialogues about inclusion and representation in digital entertainment.

Riot Games’ Statement

Aurora is different. She is a Vastaya who, unlike most, can see and traverse the spiritual realm,” mentions the Riot Games statement. Her creation and abilities highlight Riot Games’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, adding depth and authenticity to their character roster.

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Aurora’s arrival in League of Legends is not just about introducing a new champion; it’s about representing neurodiversity in a meaningful and respectful way.

Her character serves as a bridge to greater understanding and appreciation of autism within the gaming community, making League of Legends a more inclusive and diverse game.