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Designing Serious Video Games for Autism Research and Therapy
Sunday, January 11, 2009 @ 1:00 pm EST
Why use video games to do science? Well, if you’ve ever participated in a psychology experiment, you probably don’t remember it as being particularly entertaining! This is bad for all concerned, the scientist isn’t going to get good data unless the subject is engaged with the task. My research group is answering this challenge by embedding experiments in a video game which we use to study autism. I’ll discuss the player-centred, event-driven design philosophy behind the game, talk about how neuroscientists and game designers work interactively to make the game relevant to people with autism spectrum conditions, and describe our goals for making the game a platform not only to measure autistic cognitive skills, but also to facilitate autistic cognitive skills by removing barriers to their expression.