Opportunities for Serious Game Technologies to Engage Children with Autism in a Pakistani Sociocultural and Institutional Context

Sara Muneeb, Laurianne Sitbon, Faizan Ahmad

Session: Games and Play - Friday 2022-12-02 09:30-11:00 AEDT
Paper Track
Remote Presentation


Usability and design of serious game technologies have been widely investigated as academic interventions tools for children with autism. However, besides the technology, the sociocultural and institutional context also impacts the gameplay activities of children with autism as well as the external support provided by instructors. Therefore, this paper investigates i) the impact of sociocultural and institutional context over the engagement of children with autism with serious game technologies, ii) the types of external support children with autism are offered or require during gameplay session, and iii) the type of rewards and encouragers that can act as unbiased support to increase the engagement of the children with autism during gameplay. This paper investigates these factors with an inductive analysis of educational gameplay activities of 23 children with autism in Lahore, Pakistan. Our study found that sociocultural and institutional context has substantial impact over the gameplay activities of children with autism. Children required both physical and verbal support during the gameplay activities, and institutional context influences the behavior of instructors as well. Finally, dynamic animations, rewards and encouragers can keep the children engaged for longer in the gameplay.