Video Game Helps Kids Understand Experiences Of Peers On The Autism Spectrum
A new game developed by Carnegie Mellon University students is helping elementary schoolers understand what life is like for kids on the autism spectrum.
Created by the university’s Entertainment Technology Center, Prism uses its animal characters as allegories for the challenges those with autism face.
The game begins in a lush, 3-D forest teeming with animals and scored with whimsical music. Players take on a fox character, and to save your home from a flood, you must work with the other animals to build a dam across the river.
Because foxes are nocturnal animals, parts of the game set during daylight are designed to be overwhelming, Daniel Wolpow, a graduate student at the center and the game’s writer and producer, said.
When things become overwhelming in the daylight, players can press F to howl.
CREDIT ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY CENTER / CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
At certain points, the screen fills with light and the music becomes distorted, but players can soothe themselves by howling. Wolpow said this situation represents how people with autism can cope with sensory overload.