The day I met 16-year-old gamer Jordan Collard-Mendoza, he was so excited about the delivery of Halloween costumes that he could barely speak. Instead, he tore the box open and took off Sans' full mask from the avid independent role-playing game Undertale. For the next few minutes, Jordan spoke to me wearing a mask and a low voice while answering my question. During our conversation, he stopped to hum the "Megalovania Song" of Undertale.
Jordan is not only a gamer, but also an autistic. Autism, which is diagnosed in one percent of the world's population, is a neurological difference that affects a person's ability to communicate and connect. It is also characterized by sensory problems and repetitive or restrictive behaviors. For example, Jordan focuses on topics that interest him, such as Undertale or his favorite game Minecraft. He also tries to communicate in a real environment.
For young people, Jordan's interest in video games is not uncommon. My son was diagnosed as ten years old and he also likes video games. Actually Academic Studies show that autistic teens spend more than 40% of their free time playing games, while neurotic typical people spend 18%.
Why is gambling so attractive to people with autism?
Although each person with autism is unique, autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that autism has many common problems related to characteristics, disorders, and talents. University of Missouri ResearcherWho studied the perspectives of autistic players aged 17 to 25, they found that certain features of video games are particularly attractive to the way autism is thought. They found the following:
- The game provides a visually stimulating virtual environment. Many people with autism show advantages in visual spatial thinking and pattern recognition, attention to visual details, and preference for vision-based information. Because the game requires attention to visual cues and good spatial skills, the game itself is a reward for those with this advantage.
- The game is extremely imaginative but clearly structured. Study participants showed a strong affinity for RPG and action adventure games, which attracted people's thirst for imagination without the self-generating imagination skills that many autistic patients can't imagine.
- Video games provide clear visual and auditory information. People in the spectrum generally value rules and objective assessments more than neurotype colleagues. Understanding and following clearly defined rules is essential to avoiding anxiety and sensory disorders.
- Video games have clearly defined expectations and are constantly increasing. People with autism prefer routine and repetition. Uncertain situations often increase their fear, make them uncomfortable, and seek ways to get out of trouble. Video games provide a safe space with defined parameters where you can practice and master new skills.
- Games are more predictable and controllable than the real world. Unpredictable human behavior is a particular challenge for people with autism. Understanding social cues, idioms, humor, irony, and irony can cause fear in real-life situ ations. In games that are more familiar with each replay, autistic players can master these challenges in a safe, controlled environment.
Game Solutions for Autism
Parents and educators often worry about themselves when it comes to children with autism Spend too much time on computer gamesInstead of spending time with friends in real life. Countless studies have problems Discussed, But the game has obvious benefits that can offset negative effects when promoting and monitoring.
Most people with autism struggle with loneliness and loneliness. "I'm introverted," Jordan said. "I have no friends other than those who play video games online. In a 2017 study at the University of Eötvös Loránd in Hungary, researchers identified the subject Friendship and loneliness between autistic teens and adults There are more people who worry about playing online games than people who don't. "I'm trying to make friends," said Peter Lanz, another autism player. "But people with autism can be fun and often smart. You may have encountered some and didn't notice that they are autistic. With the quirks and weirdness that autism often spreads, there is real interest Ideas may surprise you. "
Therapists working with non-verbal children in the autism spectrum often use the love of video games to explore alternative ways of communicating. Jordan was having trouble talking to high school neurotic colleagues, but he took the initiative to communicate online with others who were passionate about gaming. He even attended a acting class at school, hoping that this day would help him become an influencer on YouTube. Peter also forced himself to talk about things that interest him. "I tend to be in groups, because most people interrupt me," Peter said. "I have a slower response to open dialogue, and I'm not the most confident speaker. I just accept it."
Unfortunately, a significant proportion of autistic university graduates are unemployed. Because their intelligence can reach the level of a neurotic colleague, the high unemployment rate is not due to skills, but due to opportunities, misunderstandings, and communication difficulties. Some companies are working to increase employment in autistic communities through specific recruitment programs, but the truth is that most adults must find their own jobs in a world they don't understand. However, your interest in gaming can inspire you to pursue your ideal job. Peter's love of video games has made him a career as an in-house independent game developer at the Daniel Brian Advertising Agency in Michigan, where he currently works on 3D platform games called Castle of the Coast. Peter said, "I have played a lot of Nintendo games, so I have played high-quality games since I was a kid." I am addicted to games and full of creativity. My hands are always looking for ways to build them. "
Peter first started developing games with Microsoft Word simply because he had full access. Finally, two friends showed him GameMaker, which was his first programming. Peter said, "I make more games than I play." "Before Roblox became a meme, I was introduced to me. I think how to create the world with changeable stones and how to create it with very little experience My own game is great. "
Peter attributes Roblox's preparation to 3D modeling and level design. "I designed floor plans and blueprints. Roblox is the most educational game I have ever played."
Eventually, Peter went to college with a bachelor's degree in digital animation and game design. He also volunteered at game development conferences during college.
Dr. Anthony Ellertson, director of the Game, Interactive Media and Mobile Technology Initiative (GIMM) at Boise State University (Idaho) agrees that passion for games can inspire every student to learn something like GIMM program of. "I can definitely think of it as a way of learning," he said. "Education is a prototype experience. People go through enlightenment, and then-we use game metaphors-to really understand their task. For me, this is apprenticeship. Purpose. To understand yourself. "
Adapting to the neurotypical world can be a challenge for adults. Researchers surveyed autistic adults and surveyed their love of games, providing developers with the opportunity to develop useful tools that appeal to gamers in the form of games, applications, and programs. Unfortunately, this type of support is lacking so far. Ellertson hopes eventually to find more support for autistic adults in virtual and augmented reality technology, which has huge financial potential.
"Two-thirds of the industry's capital is used for non-entertaining VR and AR," Ellertson said. His GIMM student works on an apprenticeship program at Boise State University and develops VR and AR games and applications. "The games we develop are inherently social. Games with strong learning elements. This is information about how we use it to educate someone about practical problems that our community needs to solve."
One of GIMM's recently completed applications is a virtual reality tour of Boise Airport, which gives autistic children the opportunity to practice airport and TSA procedures before travelling. "My own son is in the spectrum," Ellerson said. "So I learned that autism is often related to understanding environmental rules."
With Microsoft HoloLens and more portable AR glasses, possibly made by Apple, Ellertson sees future applications and games that can help members of the autism community and meet a variety of other requirements.
"The smartest thing is to create some basic things from which many other things can be derived. They try to understand this relationship well. You see that someone needs this and then thinks," Oh my God, I can do it for him. ""
Fun to play
Most people with autism achieve their goals with minimal steps. As with any minority group, people with autism often only maintain their perseverance and courage to grow in the face of ongoing obstacles. I have observed that my son's love of games has brought him into the field of 3D architectural design. Jordan will continue to play Minecraft and watch the Undertale comic dubbing on YouTube, hoping that one day his own channel will be successful. At the same time, he learns to communicate with others at school-and practises a technique that will take him to the next stage of life anyway. None of this would have happened without his passion for games.
Peter once heard that game developers no longer have time to play games. He said, "I haven't discovered this." "If I don't play games, I won't have too many ideas, and I won't learn anything useful and nothing." Instead, his love for games made He has been daydreaming. "I think this aspect of my personality is definitely autism, and I have learned to accept it."
About the author
Jennifer Froelich is a content writer for the Micron brand Crucial. After graduating from Arizona State University with a major in journalism, she spent several years as a ghostwriter and editor for several companies. Jennifer is also the author of adult and young novels.