Teen’s game opens up the world of autism

The Western Star - - LIFE | GADGETS/GAMES -

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.

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