Combining Speech Intervention and Cooperative Game Design for Children with ASD

Lyon Natalie Leitman David I. Zhu Jichen
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

The design of the digital game Feeling Factory explores how to combine systematic Autism intervention structures with play-centric game design in the area of prosodic speech therapy. The goal of the game is to improve emotional and grammatical, productive and receptive prosody in high-functioning children with ASD. Feeling Factory uses a two-player cooperative game that allows children with ASD to practice prosody with another person mediated by a game. This structure motivates practice of speech skills within the context of a live conversation partner, a key challenge for Autism intervention, and combines interventionist exercise with digitally mediated gameplay. A user study was conducted consisting of semi-structured interviews with a panel of seven experts and five children with ASD to help determine the potential benefits of this design model. The study resulted in a high recommendation from both groups, especially regarding the two-player cooperative game mechanics.