Practice game for children with autism

Gaming to improve your social skills: at first glance, it does not seem a logical combination. Yet it can be very pleasant and effective to start practising in a ‘digital’ world, where it is not a problem if something goes wrong. This is proven by the serious game SoVaTass that we developed in collaboration with NHL Stenden and Hanze University Groningen.

The power of learning through play

More fun and motivation
Safe and low-threshold environment for practice
Embedded in regular treatment methods

Serious game for children with autism

Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASS) often have more difficulty with social skills than their peers. The extent to which the disorder manifests itself in everyday life differs for each child. It is often the case that assessing social situations is slightly more difficult. The child often notices this too.

Because this sometimes causes frustration, they avoid these situations and their world becomes smaller and smaller. To prevent this and to help the children on the social plane, 8D Games in cooperation with NHL Stenden and Hanzehogeschool Groningen has developed an exercise game for children with autism: SoVaTaSS.

This is how we tackled it

SoVaTaSS is set in a village on an island. We have kept the look and feel of the island and the characters quiet, so that children can concentrate on the tasks at hand: helping the other inhabitants of the island. For example, someone has a problem with his cart and the other needs help with photography. In almost all situations the player learns to recognise emotions and, based on this information, to react appropriately. For example: making a blunt remark to someone who is already angry will make him even angrier. Through the cause-and-effect principle of the game, the player learns which actions lead to which result.

Character design SoVaTass

This power-up we have realised

In the safe environment of SoVaTaSS, various social skills are needed to progress in the game, such as recognising and responding to emotions, being assertive, complimenting and thanking. In this way, the child regains confidence in its own social skills. The learned skills can be immediately applied in the real world!

The development of this training game for children with autism was part of a larger research project led by Dr. Job van ‘t Veer (Lectorate Digital Innovation in Care & Welfare, NHL Stenden).

“Spelen is een heel veilige en laagdrempelige manier om te oefenen met sociale vaardigheden. Maak je een ‘fout’, dan zitten daar geen gevolgen aan.”

Case: SoVaTaSS

Maarten Stevens

Eigenaar 8D Games

Want to know more about the possibilities of gaming in healthcare?

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Johan will be happy to tell you more.

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