A new study published in the Games for Health Journal: Research Development, and Clinical Applications suggests that video games can be used for education and treatment purposes for children suffering from autism spectrum disorder.
Individuals with ASD have difficulty with communication and social interaction, but they often have particularly good visual perceptual skills and respond well to visual stimuli. Videogames offer opportunities for successful learning, motivation to improve skills such as planning, organization, and self-monitoring, and reinforcement of desired behaviors without the need for direct human-to-human interaction.
Autism is a growing area of interest for the gamification community, and Games for Health Journal
continues to explore various aspects of how videogame technology can be beneficial in treating this complex spectrum of disorders. In a previous issue of the Journal, the article "Comparing Energy Expenditure in Adolescents with and without Autism while Playing Nintendo® Wii™ Games"
described how gaming might help individuals with ASD increase their daily physical activity to prevent obesity.
"Children and young adults with ASD have unique opportunities to capitalize on their interest and aptitude in videogames as a resource to develop desired social behaviors and life skills and to increase their physical activity," says Games for Health Journal
Editor-in-Chief Bill Ferguson, PhD, who moderated the Roundtable.