Teen’s game opens up the world of autism
AN AUSTRALIAN teenager is making his mark in the gaming world by single-handedly creating the game An Aspie Life, to reflect on his life experience as a young person living with autism. It all began in November 2016 when Brad Hennessey started noticing the increasing use of the word autism as derogatory, which led him to start researching the misconceptions of the autism spectrum. “I was alarmed at the rising number of people who were not getting vaccinations, or not vaccinating their children, because they think autism is worse than death,” Brad told Gizmodo. “I was even more alarmed at the lack of information and resources trying to show people what autism truly is.” Brad used his own experiences with autism and combined the idea of wanting to represent what it was like living with autism to influence the creation of the game. He also wanted to change the public perception by educating the community about autism through the game. Brad explained that autism is a hard thing to accurately represent because it is not a physical condition. “If you see someone in a shopping centre struggling to walk, but then you see they have a broken leg – you know why they are acting that way. If you see someone who might have autism struggling, how do you know they have a disability? You don’t,” he told Gizmodo. An Aspie Life has already won the AIIA’s National Senior Students, ACMI’s Screen IT Senior Game and Young ICT explorers QLD awards in 2017. It will be released next year.
Brad Hennessey’s An Aspie Life video game will be released next year.