Helping Autistic Students With Video Games

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Autistic boys spend about twice as much time playing video games than typical boys.  The specific goals set in the games and repetitive nature of the levels mesh well with autistic  characteristics.

There are many apps and games already on the market for people with autism that have not proven particularly effective.  Users did not show many improvements after using these preexisting games.

However, researchers are now looking at how new, fun, engaging video games can be used to help students practice behavioral therapies and other life skills.  Scientific games and virtual reality could be used to simulate social interactions, giving students chances to practice their social skills in a safe environment.  Eye-tracking technology is being worked into these games to help the game better understand and react to the user’s social cues.

Part of the trouble with designing a video game targeted at autistic students, scientists have to make sure that you make it interesting enough to keep them engaged, but not so immersive that they become addicted to the game.  When autistic students spend too much time playing video games, it starts to encourage anti-social behavior.

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Story via Education Dive