Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

Video Game Simulates Autism

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“You have books and games that are not just about entertainment. I think it’s about time that games did the same.”

This is a quote from Vancouver-based video game designer Taylan Kadayifcioglu, according to ABC News. Kadayifcioglu, who also goes by the name Taylan Kay, developed a game with his two other teammates called “Auti-Sim.” This game is meant to mimic what it is like living with hypersensitivity, a common symptom of autism.

Anyone can play the game online. In “Auti-Sim,” the user walks around a playground other children are laughing and playing like normal. However, if the player gets too close the laughter gets loud and jarring and the children’s faces become distorted. The user escapes this overwhelming situation by retreating to a quieter, more secluded area of the playground.

“Auti-Sim” was created in only 12 hours in Vancouver’s Hacking Health Hackathon. The Hacking Health Hackathon is a computer programming event encouraging technology experts to mix with health care professionals to find tech-based solutions to health issues. Kay did not want to create a game that would be just for fun. Instead, he wanted to design one that would be educational and raise awareness about the daily challenges for people with autism.

Often times with mental disorders such as autism, those who do not have the disease cannot empathize with those who do. People without the disease don’t understand why others with autism are usually antisocial and have such a hard time interacting with others. I feel this game is breakthrough in using video games for educational purposes. The virtual realities created in video games are not exclusive to fantasy worlds. Video games are no longer just about putting yourself on the battlefield in World War II or becoming a rogue warrior who collects and trades items to gain achievements. Now virtual realities can reflect harsh realities that most people would not be able to experience.

While this demo version of “Auti-Sim” is limited to recreating a hypersensitive world, Kay and his team are working to develop a full version of the game. This full version would allow the user to experience a wider ragne of autistic symptoms. Kay and his team also hope to make the game available to the public for free.


Written by yolandacruz93

March 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm

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