After some controversy regarding Batgirl's biography in relation to her paralysis recovery in Gotham Knights, details have been changed by Warner Bros. Montreal.
Gotham Knights is set to release later this year, but fans have voiced their concern at a particular narrative detail regarding Batgirl's history. As in the character's biography on the game's official site, it originally said "her father's death spurred her to train and recover from her wounds so that she could return to active duty as Batgirl."
Fans obviously reacted negatively to this, because that just isn't how 'recovering' from a lifelong disability works.
Some quick context for the world of Batman: Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter, first donned the cowl as Batgirl in 1967. But in the famous comic The Killing Joke, Gordon is shot in the spine by the Joker, paralysing her from the waist down. In turn, she became Oracle, a more tech savvy hero that assisted Batman from the shadows. And more recently, in the New 52 era of comics, Batgirl underwent an experimental surgery, as well as physical therapy, in order to regain her mobility.
It's a complicated history, and one that shouldn't have been written off as 'she trained hard enough' to change it. Now though, in a recent Q&A with the developers (as reported by Eurogamer), the developers have changed Batgirl's biography in an attempt to be more sensitive to the character.
"As with many of our characters and plot elements, the circumstances around Barbara's injuries differ in some important ways from how it's been portrayed in the comics," explained creative director Patrick Redding in the Q&A. "Barbara has been through multiple surgeries followed by a lot of physical therapy and pain management [in Gotham Knights]."
Now, the description reads "With extensive training and rehabilitation, she recovered from her wounds, and returned to active duty as Batgirl." Warner Bros. Montreal also worked with charity Able Gamers "to learn about different types of spinal injuries and the potential for someone to regain mobility."