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The use of gamification and serious games within interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder

Ern, A.M. (2014) The use of gamification and serious games within interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder.

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Abstract:Background: Autism is considered to be the most severe developmental brain disorder. Due to the numerous implications this disorder has on the affected person, such as immense communicational and attentional deficits, the consequences emerging from Autistic Developmental Disorders [ASD] are quite strong. Therefore, effective interventions are needed. These interventions are especially useful if they are aimed at children. A recently evolved field within such interventions focuses on the implementation of game-methods, such as gamification, serious games and off-the-shelf video games. This study wants to present the state of research of these methods within intervention for children with ASD. In doing so, this study focuses on characteristics, the targeted ability, the supporting material and the effectiveness of the already implemented game-methods. Method: This was done by conducting a comprehensive literature search using 4 relevant databases. The search strategy led to the finding of 4,556 articles on October 1st, 2013. Several screening processes led to 14 relevant articles that were examined. The analysis of the found literature was done by applying categories that should extract the relevant data. Further, each game was described and scored by the application of the “10 Ingredients of Great Games” by Reeves and Read. Results: Through this analysis, this study provides several important approaches that should be considered in further research. Most important findings: The target skills of the found interventions were limited and further research should focus on additional important abilities, such as perception. Further, only 6 interventions provided sufficient effectiveness measures, which limits the explanatory power of this elaboration. These 4 of these 6 interventions showed very positive measures and 2 were less effective. Discussion: This review found that primarily serious games can be considered a feasible method within the treatment of children with ASD. The methods, mostly serious games, use components that are very useful for children with ASD, such as simple and explicit rules. These strategies may be useful in further game-methods as well. Further, they focus on important abilities in ASD like communicational skills. Research should aim these methods at other important skills within ASD, like sense perception, as well. Still, only 6 interventions within the 14 examined articles show sufficient effectiveness measures. These studies 4 of this 6 studies show very positive results. This emphasizes the strong need for further investigation of effectiveness within these methods.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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