Online social interaction can be just as apprehensive as autistic children like those they play in the offline world. The people at Autcraft (built around a unique version of the favored game Minecraft) have set out to develop a safe, simulated playground. As a result, they’ve created a structured and filtered environment where more socialization can happen where both the offline and online worlds join. With the creation of Autcraft, a combination of social structures and rules and modifying of the Minecraft software is used to keep autistic children safe. Autcraft utilizes Minecraft to offer four things to autistic kids by providing them with:
- A secure social environment
- Allow them to filter their experience in different ways
- Help them with unleashing their imaginations
A Structured Play Area
Minecraft is structured as it has rules and boundaries that players must abide by. Autcraft uses additional software plug-ins to simplify the game, particularly for younger players. Apart from the physical structure, the Autcraft community also provide social structure as it promotes norms around helpfulness and friendliness. These norms include tools like community chests, which permit the player to leave things they no longer have a use for allowing others to use them. Autcraft is a digital playground where children can interact just as they would be on a natural playground. Kids can play games including, Hide and Seek, or can merely hang out by talking to each other via text chat. The Minecraft toys are also well-liked, and if you are looking to buy some, this place sells them.
The game of Minecraft simplifies and filters things so that it can be helpful towards autistic players. Characters are moderately rough representations of people. They don’t have body language or facial expressions but can communicate via character movements like gifting items or jumping around and text.
Why Is Minecraft A User-Friendly Option For Autistic Children?
Individuals with autism often need to fine-tune their sensory intake to fulfill their needs. Brightness and volume are adjustable in Minecraft, and players can adjust their sensory intake by moving the characters around. For instance, a player can bury the character underground allowing the screen to go dark, permitting a quick visual sensory break. Autcraft has also developed virtual sensory areas that provide various sensory moods and inputs. Another essential aspect of the game for many players is they are given the opportunity to unleash their imaginations. In the game of Autcraft, players can create buildings that resemble large pink ponies or statues that are the size of a building. Community members prefer working alone at times, but they can also form teams to work towards their building goals. During an interview with an autistic youth, it was revealed that he would take on the leadership role to lead his friends into completing massive castles and forming entire villages together as a team. For kids who find it problematic to communicate, learning in a classroom setting, or making friends, this is a fundamental factor.
More on this topic: Google Glass Helping Autistic Children See Emotion