Meaningful Play 2018 at Michigan State University

Microtalk Information

TitleAb Errantry: A Game To Build Awareness Of The Aberrant And Abhorrent In Teens And Young Adults With Autism
Presenter(s)Patricia F Anderson and Bruce Maxim
SessionHealth Games Microtalks
TimeSaturday, October 13, 11:30a-12:30p
LocationSuperior Room
FormatMicrotalk
DescriptionDiagnoses of autism continue to climb, with incidence levels reported as 1 in 59 for 8-year-old children. Persons with autism prefer to socialize online where they risk encountering online predators. Online social environments can be used to the build skills needed to make them more risk aware. The team created a medieval-themed Unity game with a fantasy storyline. In this game, the player/knight needs to navigate past non-playing characters who misrepresent their identities/goals, and who try to manipulate choices and behaviors of the knight trying to complete traditional game challenges (e.g. battles and puzzles). The game mechanics were designed to show common behaviors and linguistic patterns used by online sexual predators: social grooming, inappropriate trust building, and social distancing from trusted communities. Play-testing was performed by middle-school and college students (some with disabilities). A strong majority of the play-testers provided positive feedback and expressed willingness to play the game again.

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