Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Paper Information

TitleAutism in Video Games: With an Analysis of Characters
Presenter(s)Jake Hilligoss and Luke Grebe
SessionGame Characters and Avatars
TimeThursday, October 20, 3:00p-4:00p
LocationLake Ontario
FormatPaper Presentation
DescriptionAutism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder with a diagnosis rate that has been rising over the past decade from 1 in 150 children to 1 in 68 children in the United States. Those with autism have some representation and misrepresentation in the older forms of media, but the question is how they are represented in newer media. Specifically, the question is on how they are represented. So far, there seems to be no complete research on ASD being represented in video games. That is, are they efficiently and fairly represented as playable characters in games or are they underrepresented or misrepresented? The results show that most characters (68.2%) each show 1-3 of the characteristics of ASD. There are a few that do not have any of the listed symptoms built in, but are player choice. However, if measuring by built-in symptoms, most of the characters have very few ASD symptoms and therefore do not display characteristics of ASD. The study determined that video games do not under-represent or misrepresent people with ASD if measuring by player choice.

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