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Tech Forecast

Auti-Sim, The Game That Startlingly Reconstructs Life As An Autistic Child

The indie game is intended to give people an idea of what it's like to suffer from hypersensitivity.

A team of developers has created a simulation of hypersensitivity as experienced by sufferers of autism. Auti-sim was created by three programmers at the Hacking Health event in Vancouver last month, an event similar to last weekend's attempt to help cancer research via gaming.

If you ever wondered why autistic children tend to stay on the sidelines watching other kids, rather than joining in, Auti-sim will be illuminating. The closer you get to the noise and activity of the children playing in the simulation, the fuzzier the image becomes, the louder the shrieking. Return to the periphery and the sensory overload of the noise and distortion subsides.

One of the game's creators, Taylan Kay, told Ars Technica that the aim of the project was "to elicit the same kind of reaction from a neurotypical person. So the goal was basically to irritate the hell out of your senses."

Technology is used in many ways to help autism sufferers in their lives—from iPads as musical instruments to using robots and pets to help younger sufferers come out of their shells.