As a Paralympian, Dunedin-based javelin thrower Holly Robinson is used to breaking barriers.
However, being a character — and the only Kiwi — in the Paralmypics’ first-ever official video game is an achievement she’s still pinching herself about.
“When you get opportunities like this, it's really, really cool,” she told 1 NEWS.
“Also nerve wracking a little bit!”
Robinson is one of nine para-athletes from around the world to be included in the The Pegasus Dream Tour, an avatar role-playing game launching at the end of June where users can compete and equip themselves with prosthetic arms, legs and wheelchairs.
Robinson said the game is a significant milestone for the Paralympic movement.
“It’s going to give people a way to get involved that’s really fun, innovative and it's going to be really exciting that people do get to experience these Paralympic sports.”
Robinson isn’t the only piece of New Zealand tied to the game, though, with Dunedin-based gaming hub CODE [Centre Of Digital Excellence] working alongside the official developers JP Games in Japan to help bring the game to life.
CODE establishment director Tim Ponting said it’s a proud moment for New Zealand on multiple levels.
“Aotearoa is such a fab place to be involved in the games industry,” Ponting said.
“We're embracing diversity here in this country which hasn’t been seen in the video game industry elsewhere in the world and it's fantastic encouragement for young people in New Zealand to get involved in the industry and sport at the same time.”
The inclusion is added motivation for Robinson, who remains hopeful the real-life version will go ahead despite ongoing issues with Covid-19 in Japan and globally.
“These games are going to be very different to any games I’ve experienced,” she said.
“I’ve been to two, but at the end of the day I’m training hard here in Dunedin to go out and throw out the best I possibly can.”