An artificial leg that is in high demand…by nerds like me

I am a huge fan of the animation and comic series Ghost in the Shell (GITS), so when I found out GITS is receiving a third season, I scoured the forums for more details. When was it coming out? Are my favorite characters going to be there? My search went from delight to amazement when I discovered what’s planned for this third season.

Let me explain. Ghost in the Shell is set in the distant future in Japan where everything is online and technologically advanced. Everyone is connected to the vast web through their brains by a series of augmentations and enhancements. Select people, including the heroine, have cybernetic bodies. This means that their bodies are completely artificial. Their brain or “ghost” (loosely meaning soul or essence, according to the series) is the only organic thing in their body. The series explores a lot of questions about humanity. What does it mean to be human when 98% of what makes you is plastic? How would society function if everyone was constantly connected to the internet and didn’t need a computer or phone to log in?

So what did I see related to this amazing show on the forums? A person linking to a woman showing off her artificial leg and captioning it: “This is amazing and I can’t wait until we have them too!”

Maybe it’s just me, and how long I’ve worked here at Easter Seals, but I was speechless. At my job here, I read endless articles about people trying to make artificial limbs work better and “not look so bad,” and here was a community that didn’t see it as a disability – they saw it as an enhancement. They didn’t pity the woman and her new leg. They envied her and thought she was the coolest girl ever. Nerds like me who commented about this chimed in with agreement and fandom, too. Some examples:

  • “I can’t wait either!”
  • “Is it too late to get it now?”
  • “I can’t wait to be like GITS!”

I may occasionally hide my inner nerd (I mean, honestly, not that many people want to hear a dissertation on the progression of magical girl anime and feminism since the 90’s to today), but today I embrace my humble little beginnings and cheer for a community of people that can be a little socially awkward, but rather progressive when it relates to the things they love. And to be honest, that leg was really cool.


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