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Romario94

Ideas For Video Game About Autism

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Hi fellow game designers / developers,

I would love to hear about any ideas that you guys have for a video game that will focuses around a main character who suffered low-functioning autistic spectrum disorder. I'm currently ideating a first-person video game that would have a gameplay and mechanics that is inspired by autism symptoms.

Autistic symptoms may include hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity towards the surroundings, OCD, over-agitated / excited over particular objects, uncontrollable body movements, and anything else that you could mention.

If anybody has brilliant ideas on creating an emotionally engaging experience based on these theme, I would be glad to hear it from you guys.

 

Additional info:

The main objective of this game is trying to engage the player to 'empathize' and feel the life of an autistic person through first person perspective.

Edited by Romario94

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I read the subtext that you want to shed some light on the world of autism and make other people understand what being autistic is like?

 

I would like to warn you about a common pitfall usually concerning educational games. You shouldn't push the autism forward too strongly, otherwise people think your sole goal is to manipulate their thoughts and either build an anti-reaction to what you're trying to convey or don't develop interest in the game at all. 

 

I think the best way to proceed is not to make the game revolve around autism as if it was a "documentary film" but simply include it as a side theme in otherwise compelling game. Autistic people are normal people with autism, so game about autism should be considered a normal game with autism.

 

In other words you could treat autism as one of the features of your main character that of course somehow affects the gameplay. As long as you don't define your story starting point or conflict through autism (alone) I see it could improve many game genres because It justifies using some strong shader effects and gameplay mechanics without immediately converting the entire game to supernatural style. Somehow the first style that comes to my mind is horror/mystery/puzzle adventure but that might just be me. smile.png

 

So how do you go about making it happen? Put the autism aside for a while and start developing an interesting story with conflict and characters that link to it. Then bring the autism to the table and try to make it interact with different components interestingly.

Edited by ShadowFlar3

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In other words you could treat autism as one of the features of your main character that of course somehow affects the gameplay. As long as you don't define your story starting point or conflict through autism (alone) I see it could improve many game genres because It justifies using some strong shader effects and gameplay mechanics without immediately converting the entire game to supernatural style. Somehow the first style that comes to my mind is horror/mystery/puzzle adventure but that might just be me.


I really don't think this is a good idea, to focus heavily on the side effects of autism as a gameplay mechanic. Rather than shed light on autism, people will interpret it as making fun of it. About all you can do without offending people is make a game where a person struggling against autism, as a simple story element, overcomes it and does something great.

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I really don't think this is a good idea, to focus heavily on the side effects of autism as a gameplay mechanic. 

 

 

My entire post was about why I think this is a good idea.

 

 Rather than shed light on autism, people will interpret it as making fun of it.

 

Based on what? This will not happen if you know how to write and especially if the person in charge knows anything about autism as I suspect they do.

 

 About all you can do without offending people is make a game where a person struggling against autism, as a simple story element, overcomes it and does something great.

 

My entire post was also about why I think this starting point in particular is bad. Story focused on autism is bad. You are degrading a normal person with autism to a person with nothing but autism. Assuming this is what game about autism has to be is very inconsiderate and naive. And if autism is the only point to your game people will think "I'm not interested in learning about autism so I'm not interested in this game" and nobody will play it.

 

If you feel like you want to contradict everything I write then please go through addressing all of which I say. I'm not interested in arguing about the matter in depth with someone who posts one liners without backing up anything.

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1. I really don't think this is a good idea, to focus heavily on the side effects of autism as a gameplay mechanic.

2. Rather than shed light on autism, people will interpret it as making fun of it.

3. About all you can do without offending people is make a game where a person struggling against autism, as a simple story element, overcomes it and does something great.

 

1. I disagree.

2. I disagree that it necessarily will turn out that way.

3. Taking into consideration the words I crossed out (because I disagree with them), that idea sounds fine, but isn't very clear.

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1. I really don't think this is a good idea, to focus heavily on the side effects of autism as a gameplay mechanic.
2. Rather than shed light on autism, people will interpret it as making fun of it.
3. About all you can do without offending people is make a game where a person struggling against autism, as a simple story element, overcomes it and does something great.

 
1. I disagree.
2. I disagree that it necessarily will turn out that way.
3. Taking into consideration the words I crossed out (because I disagree with them), that idea sounds fine, but isn't very clear.

Hi.

I consider your opinion to hold quite a bit of weight because for one, you seem to be an industry professional in certain areas, and two, you are a mod, and I observe that the best members of the community tend to get picked for staff positions.

However, I have had the mental illness which is schizophrenia, which is now treated. If someone made a game about a schizophrenic guy where they see hallucinations and have to fight through it, I would kind of dislike the game for two reasons:

1. It would not accurately represent every schizophrenic.
2. I would not want to play through what I already have experienced.

It's a very delicate subject for people that have already experienced these things, and if you want to appeal to them, or at least me, you have to be careful with this subject.

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Autistic Spectrum Disorder

  • Prefer being alone, seem aloof; they are self-sufficient on a social needs scale. Frequently don't understand emotional communication.
  • Focus on expertise in a narrow skill set; they repeat known, comfortable behaviors, and become quite good at them.
  • Prefer night to day; often have trouble sleeping at night, and are not 'morning people.'
  • Often have heightened senses; experience pain at loud noises, displeasure at potent flavors, prefer cloudy days to sunshine, etc

So an idea for your game about Autism is they are the noctournal genetic variant of Homo Sapiens. They are designed to operate alone in the dark. They are cats and regular people are dogs.

Edited by AngleWyrm

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It's a very delicate subject for people that have already experienced these things, and if you want to appeal to them, or at least me, you have to be careful with this subject.

 

The subject, like many, deserves treatment with sensitivity. That doesn't mean, does it, that an attempt to tackle it should be discouraged?

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It's a very delicate subject for people that have already experienced these things, and if you want to appeal to them, or at least me, you have to be careful with this subject.

 

The subject, like many, deserves treatment with sensitivity. That doesn't mean, does it, that an attempt to tackle it should be discouraged?

 

 

Indeed.

 

Lots of hard subjects have been handled well. One example about movies is Memento (#36 on IMDB top movies) which dealt with short-term memory loss. I don't want to spoil the movie to those who haven't seen it, but overall:

 

The condition is very strongly present in mechanics of the movie but still the story elements (the conflict, the solution, etc) have nothing to do with it. Memory loss is just something that directs the flow of events. The themes present are revenge, gullibility, deceit, morale and these can be considered what the movie is "a lesson of" rather than just "memory loss". I can't imagine anybody with this condition feeling offended by it.

 

 


So an idea for your game about Autism is they are the noctournal genetic variant of Homo Sapiens. They are designed to operate alone in the dark. They are cats and regular people are dogs.

 

I really like this idea. It takes sci-fi and creative turn rather than patronizing and adds mystery and a chance to explain. It's not yet a story but you could weave this idea in whatever you already have if it fits the style.

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