Numerous books and research studies have been published about the complexities of childhood autism. While the materials available about autism are utterly educational, often times these materials are unsubstantial in helping people understand the day-to-day life experiences of someone who is autistic. Reading about the etiology and clinical manifestations of autism is informative, but it does not allow a person to fully comprehend what living with autism feels like. To help depict what it is like to have autism, video game developers created an interactive game called 'Auti-Sim.'
The interactive simulation which can be accessed at gamejolt.com allows users to experience a day in the life of an autistic child. Using the arrow keys and mouse, the user is able to navigate through a playground. The user becomes aware of various noises in the background that gets progressively raucous as the user approaches a group of children. The screen becomes pixelated and the environment becomes overwhelming.
'Auti-Sim,' created by the video game designer Taylan Kadayifcioglu and his two team members, was developed in 12 hours as a demo for the Vancouver Hacking Health Hackathon where it received scads of positive feedback. Kadayifcioglu designed the interactive game not only to raise awareness about autism, but also to allow others to gain a different view about the challenges of autism. Because 'Auti-Sim' was created as a demo, it is limited to only simulate living with sensory overload or hypersensitivity, a common clinical manifestation of autism. Kadayifcioglu and his team aim to develop a free full version of the video game that would depict an expansive range of symptoms.
Critics have hailed that the simulation will not properly depict autism even with the full version. While this may be true, 'Auti-Sim' is still educational and purports a different perspective for those wanting to better comprehend the complexities and challenges of living with autism.
To access 'Auti-Sim,' visit http://gamejolt.com/games/strategy-sim/auti-sim/12761/