Today is World Autism Awareness Day – have you ever wondered what it’s like for people with auditory hypersensitivity? There’s a simulation for that – Auti-sim, created by Indie developers Taylan Kadayifcioglu, Matt Marshall, Krista Howarth in just 2 days at the Hacking Health Vancouver 2013 game jam. This is not a game for fun; rather it is a game for learning about some of the cognitive impairment and gross discomfort suffered by people experiencing sensory overload.

How does it work?
The player walks around a school playground where children are talking, and playing. As they approach other children, noise levels rise and visuals start to disintegrate. It’s a natural instinct to find a “quiet” place, and players gravitate toward the edges of the playground. The self-imposed isolation, and need to escape the overload offers some insight into the daily struggle for people with hypersensitivity disorders.

The team recognises that Auti-sim scratches the surface of a wider spectrum of sensory overloads and experiences and is working to develop the game further, and hoping to keep it freely available to the public.

You can play Auti-sim here.

Autism spectrum disorder is one of the most common developmental disorders affecting as many as one in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. More information about autism is available at www.autismspeaks.org.

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