Not Disabled In VR

The character in question is disabled, sick, or otherwise prevented from living a normal life. They are however lucky enough to live in a world advanced enough to feature virtual reality games, where their limits are nullified. Moreover, such a person tends to fare even better than most players, since they usually spend way more time online.

May be a form of Dark Lord on Life Support. See also Disability-Negating Superpower when disability is actually negated in the real world.

Examples

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     Anime & Manga 
  • Accel World: Played with.
    • Kurasaki Fuuko (alias Sky Raker) is legless in real life, but able to live normally with prosthetics. Her Accel World form on the other hand looks a lot like a person in a wheelchair, and while she used to have legs, she lost them when Kuroyukihime, on her request, destroyed them because Sky Raker hoped that without the extra weight, she'd be able to fly.
    • Utai Shinomiya, also known as Ardor Maiden, is unable to speak in real life without using her Neurolinker to type messages (she can say the "Burst Link" command, but it takes a great deal of effort), but can speak in Brain Burst.
  • Log Horizon: Touya is paraphlegic in real life. In the world of Elder Tale, he's trying extra hard to fight for and protect what he considers precious.
  • In Sword Art Online:
    • The Sleeping Knights is a Guild entirely composed of terminally ill players. Exaggerating it even further, their leader is Konno Yuuki, who is dying of AIDS and has been voluntarily living in a virtual environment 24 hours a day for three years - a whole year longer than the victims of the SAO incident were trapped in the game.
    • An inversion: it's possible for otherwise non-disabled people to suffer a "Full-Dive Nonconformity" of varying levels of severity that can leave them at a crippling disadvantage during gameplay. In Progressive, Nezha suffers from this and is essentially legally blind in-game. His group worked long and hard to find a way for him to fight well alongside them, but ultimately decided to put him to use scamming players for money to buy better gear.
  • .hack//SIGN: In the epilogue, it is revealed that Subaru's player is an introverted paraplegic girl in Real Life, who plays The World for the freedom to travel anywhere and to make friends she doesn't have offline.
  • Masamichi Haru from Real Drive woke up from a 50 year coma to find his body is now 80 years old. He can't move around without a wheelchair or Minamo's assistance. It's not possible for him to upgrade into a full-prosthetic body, but he does have a cyberbrain. This allows him to find a purpose as a "diver" into The Metal, where he can conduct research and investigate anomalies being caused by the interactions of others.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in Yuki Yuna Is a Hero: Togo, one of main cast of heroines, is normally in need of a wheelchair. Then the Hero System comes and Togo's powered-up form is quite versatile, highly mobile and hardly hindered by her bad legs. Then more of Hero System comes into the light, starting the "Free disabilities for everyone!" campaign. And even that is not enough by the time of story climax, the wheelchair changes hands.
  • In the Virtual World Filler Arc of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Seto Kaiba's adoptive father Gozaburo Kaiba originally had the virtual world created for his biological son Noah after Noah was hit by a car and left permanently disabled.

     Comic Books 
  • In a somewhat TRON-inspired issue of Batman Inc, Barbara Gordon gets to be Batgirl again...in cyberspace.

     Fan Works 
  • DC Nation had a similar plotline to the Batman Inc example. Jericho's powers misfire, sending Barbara Gordon-Grayson into cyberspace. Babs then realizes two things; she doesn't need a wheelchair there, and that she can alter the world around her by thinking about the code needed to do what she wants.
  • Played With in the TRON fanfic "The Contingency." Alan Bradley is dying of a brain tumor (though not incapacitated), and is brought to The Grid with the hopes he can be cured. The cure works, but it involved a transfusion of Iso code, effectively making him a hybrid of User and Iso, both of which paints a big target on his back because of Clu's coup.

     Film 
  • Invoked Trope in James Cameron's Avatar: Jake Sully is paraplegic. Using remotely controlled, artificial Na'vi body, he has full use of his legs again. As he becomes increasingly athletic and in tune with nature in Na'vi form, his human form feels like more and more of a shell. At the end of the film, he undergoes a ritual that transfers his mind into that of his avatar permanently.
  • Also an Invoked Trope in Strange Days where illegal technology exists that allows people to record their own experiences and for other people to play them back. One of the sleazy dealers of these recordings has a special one made for his legless friend of someone running along a beach, seeing a pretty woman and falling over in the surf. The friend is overjoyed to watch it but starts crying when the recording stops.
  • In Spy Kids 3D, Grandpa Cortez - an elderly, retired spy using a wheelchair - joins Juni Cortez on the adventure in the virtual world, and they immediately come across a powerup that lets him stand on his feet for the first time in years. Unfortunately, he has to go back to using the wheelchair when their mission is over...
  • In the Apocalypse series, virtual reality technology is being developed, as demonstrated to the protagonist by Willie Spino, a computer whiz in a wheelchair. The Antichrist offers a form of the tech that makes the virtual real, letting the blind see in real life and letting Willie walk again if they turn to his side.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Will, who is paraplegic, can walk when in the dream world. He also has magical powers, inspired by his D&D game. Neither save him from Freddy.
    • Similarly, Joey is mute in the real world, but has Make Me Wanna Shout powers in the dream. His disability seems to be psychological however, as he can speak normally in the sequel.

     Literature 
  • Otherland: Orlando. He's dying from progeria and spending most of his time in a VR game as Thargor the Barbarian.
  • The main character of Piers Anthony's novel Killobyte is Walter Toland, a newly paraphlegic former cop who suffers from depression because of his new disability until he discovers Killobyte, a deep-immersion virtual reality game.
  • Done by Poul Anderson in Call Me Joe. A lot of people accused James Cameron of ripping him off in the Avatar example above.
  • In the short story collection Warriors of Blood and Dream, Fearless by Dave Smeds is about a teen wheelchair user who competes in virtual martial arts tournaments and wins consistently.
  • A variant in the Guardians of the Flame books. James is severely disabled on Earth but when he's transported to the other world is transformed into the physically hale dwarf warrior Ahira. As a result, he's one of the few members of the group who isn't in a great hurry to get back to the real world.
  • Snow Crash has Ng, who was disfigured and rendered quadriplegic by a Southeast Asian war. He travels in meatspace in an enormous armored truck he calls the ultimate motorized wheelchair, and conducts most of his life in The Metaverse, where he walks through his mansion and drinks tea with visitors.
  • In Idoru, Zona Rose, the supposed leader of a Chilanga girl gang, is ultimately revealed to be the severely disabled daughter of a lawyer.
  • John Scalzi's novel Lock In uses this as its central plot device. A plague left a significant portion of the planet with Locked In Syndrome and so the government built a huge VR system to allow Locked In folks freedom of movement in a simulated setting. This includes one of the central protagonists.
  • In Supreme Commander by Nikolay Gudanets, General Andrey Berezin has lost both his legs during the Second Russian Civil War. He's now in command of an XCOM-like task force charged with fighting with alien attacks on Earth. Physically, he spends all his time in his apartment with his batman serving his needs, such as shopping and cooking. However, his VR helmet allows him to work in a virtual office, where he moves around on virtual legs. He also attends all meetings as a virtual avatar, capable of walking. During some missions, he personally remote-controls a small tank. At the end of the novel, he has been relieved of command, but the reverse-engineering of some of the alien biotech now allows people to regrow lost limbs, so he may be able to walk again after all.

     Radio 
  • There was an Adventures in Odyssey two parter "A Touch of Healing" where Jason Whittaker modifies the Imagination Station (a virtual reality exhibit) so that blind users can see and lame users can walk. However, when he tests it on a girl born blind, it does not make her see, but when he uses it on a boy who became lame through an accident, he can walk. Jason thinks it is because the boy knows what it is like to walk, but the girl does not because she was born blind.

     Live-Action TV 
  • A subtle one in Red Dwarf with Rimmer, who is intangible due to being dead, being able to have physical form and interact physically while in the VR game "Better Than Life".
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Lifesigns", Denara Pel, a Vidiian suffering from an incurable flesh-eating disease (the Phage), has her mind transferred to a holographic body by the Doctor which is notably disease-free.
  • In the Robocop tv-show, Diana is physically just a brain in a jar thanks to the scheme to use her as a living computer. She can interact via an intangible hologram, but can only actually touch someone if their brain is also plugged into the virtual computing system.

     Video Game 
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Doned is a sickly boy who uses a wheelchair because of his unspecified illness. In the dream Ivalice, he's perfectly healthy and able to walk, and very much does not want to return to the real world. When his older brother Marche (the protagonist) starts working to dismantle Ivalice, Doned sabotages him in various ways.
  • The Cat Lady has this with the final villain of the piece, a person who uses internet chat rooms to gaslight numerous people to death, including eventually his father despite only being able to move his eye.
  • Downplayed in TRON 2.0. In the analog world, both Alan Bradley and his son Jet need glasses to see. The Glasses Come Off once they're digitized.

     Visual Novel 
  • In Super Danganronpa 2, we find out in the final chapter that every one of the students besides Nanami were once members of Enoshima's despair group, and in multiple cases were covered in self-inflicted mutilations from their desire to feel despair (with some severing their own body parts to be replaced with limbs from Enoshima's corpse). The survivors from the first game placed them all inside the Neo World Program with the intent of reforming them by erasing sections of their memories from before they all entered high school and got involved with Enoshima in the first place, which restores them to their youth to keep the illusion real and gave them bodies to reflect this.

     Webcomic 
  • Something*Positive: Davan introduces his family to role-playing games (specifically a superheroic one). His sister, who's a wheelchair user, spends the session describing her character dancing around.
  • Homestuck: When characters are warped into the videogame Sgrub, there's a mechanic where any time a player sleeps, they assume control of a "dream body"—a completely healthy version of themselves that can also fly. Tavros is paraplegic (and has dreamed of flying even before he lost the use of his legs) so when he enters Sgrub, he spends as much time flying around in his dream body as possible.
    • Played With since the dream body is meant to reflect a player's dream self. Vriska, who lost an eye and an arm, has them back in the dream world, but Terezi, who went blind, is also blind in the dream world because she prefers it.

     Web Original 
  • Noob has played with this trope a few times, but has yet to do it straight:
    • Subverted with Kevin, Sparadrap's player. He first appears in a wheelchair, but quickly turns out to be messing around with one belonging to his grandmother and be perfectly able-bodied.
    • Ivy's player happens to be narcoleptic, but it mostly causes her to frequently be late or asleep in front of her computer. She's a decent player provided she's awake.
    • Spectre's player has what could be considered a gamer's Beneficial Disease: it basically gives him Hyper Awareness, but has the drawback of making him addicted to the game to the point of neglecting his health. Another character aware of his condition heavily implied that if anything, playing actually makes his condition worse.

     Western Animation 
  • In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, they try to get Jeremiah Surd to become a Boxed Crook in exchange for access to Quest World. This backfires, and trying to take it over because of this trope becomes his main motivation for antagonising them. Eventually inverted when he's trapped in Quest World in his crippled form.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Brian in Love" Brian falls in love with an old woman who was a movie star in the 1930s. He convinces her to step outside of her house for the first time in years, and she gets hit by a car. As she is dying in the hospital Brian uses a pair of VR goggles (which had been set up earlier in the episode) to show her a virtual version of them getting married, having kids, etc. so her last moments would be happy.
  • Felix in Kim Possible uses a wheelchair in their RL, but has the use of his legs in their virtual reality game world. Also played with, in that badass, athletic Kim is a tiny little helpless pixie who can do little more than float in the same game world, and the Mighty Tunnel Lord is Rufus, the naked mole rat, tiniest of them all in the real world.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NotDisabledInVR