Communicating with other people is one of the greater difficulties for children with autism. Asking for help, starting a social interaction or sharing emotions are skills that they must learn through exercise and therapies.
The video game “Land of fog” is the name of the project led by Narcís Parés, professor of the Department of Information and Communications Technologies (DTIC) of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, developed together with the Department of Psychology of Goldsmiths of the University of London and the Unity of Development Disorders of the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona. It is a video game based on a whole-body interaction system whose mission is to help children with autistic spectrum disorder (TEA) express and incorporate social interaction strategies. It consists of a circular projection on the ground of six meters in diameter that represents a magical world: four kingdoms hidden behind a virtual fog that children can actively explore moving through the circular space. The settings and the creatures represented in the kingdom only appear if the children interact and collaborate with each other.

After performing a pilot test with children between 10 and 14 years in an inclusive school of London and in a laboratory of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, researchers consider that the game was able of increase and diversify the attitudes of initiation and social collaboration, such as joint attention, integrated demands, coordination, etc.; counteracting the deficiencies in the abilities to socialize and communicate that generally characterize children with TEA. The current cost of the video game is 15 000 euros, which makes it hard to implement it in schools.

 


Source: Universitat Pompeu Fabra. “Land of fog”, una instal·ació per a la integració social de nens amb autisme. Available at: https://portal.upf.edu/web/e-noticies/home_upf/-/asset_publisher/8EYbnGNU3js6/content/id/3436958/maximized#.VyDBgjCLQdU