[games_access] Reactive Colours - games aimed at Autistic children

AudioGames.net richard at audiogames.net
Mon May 15 16:30:13 EDT 2006

Great link! Thanks!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barrie Ellis" <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk>
To: "IGDA GA mailing list" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2006 8:02 PM
Subject: [games_access] Reactive Colours - games aimed at Autistic children

The wonderful Reactive Colours web-site has just been launched. They have
devised a number of interactive programs, aimed autistic children (but great
for kids of all abilities).

There's much more information at the home page: www.reactivecolours.org

with on-line Flash games to play here:
http://www.reactivecolours.org/gallery/  - some great with head trackers or
switches too.

The following is taken from their project description:

"The Reactive Colours© website presents an opportunity to explore together
methods of open learning, development, and creativity. Reactive Colours© is
intended to be a free resource, on the internet, (and offline in other
contexts where the there may be a cost for additional support material) in
which Intellectual Property will be protected, but open to development.

Reactivities© are reactive multimedia activities that respond to touch and
sound, in a manner that is completely responsive to user input.
Reactivities© may be standalone classroom activities or free to explore
through the Reactive Colours© web portal. Reactivities© are designed to
encourage individuals with autistic spectrum differences and learning
disabilities to use computers, and through which they can develop mouse,
keyboard, programming and screen skills and deliberately emphasise the
characteristics of computing that are of potential significance to people on
the autism spectrum.

The computer can in effect become a tactile response mechanism attuned to
the distinctive perspectives and perceptions of autistic children and primed
for imaginative play, the development of attention skills, shared experience
and exploratory learning.

The capacity to have fun is an almost universal human coping resource for
dealing with boredom and stress. Yet many autistic children appear not to
discover how to have fun at all, and hence do not discover a vital tool for
reducing anxiety and releasing energy. They may be even less likely to
discover how to enjoy shared fun with other people.

The opportunity to have fun provided by Reactivities© may have an overall
impact on anxiety levels in general, it also has great social potential.
Feeling good about other people, and other people feeling good about you,
are fundamental to social inclusion.

We believe Reactivities© can help autistic children become more aware of
other children, more aware of other people's actions and emotions, more
engaged in other people's interests and more likely to wish to interact with
them. All of those are vital to overcoming autistic isolation and motivating
the development of social skills.

The potential to promote a happy, creative learning environment is therefore
accelerated by helping to overcome many of the obstacles a child's autism
can put in the way of his or her education.

Initial concept Reactivities© have been co-developed and designed with
teachers, therapists, experts and children at a special school. An
evaluation of these experiential interfaces has taken place that indicates
significant promise.

A model of research and design development, together with an integrated
promotion and distribution strategy, has been defined which proposes that
participation and collaboration would be most successful through the use of
electronic digital networks. Opportunities for user-focused development and
iteration are further enhanced through the availability on the Reactive
Colours© website of a discreet programming code. This code will provide
individuals keen to experiment with computation, access to the tools needed
to customise the software and to share their Reactivities© with others.

The Reactive Colours© team have extensive high level experience of managing,
designing and promoting national scale projects in educational, community,
and ICT related areas. The Project team have a varied set of skills and
interests combining research, analytical and communication skills, community
maintenance, programming, web architecture and implementation as well as
expertise in autistic spectrum differences, interactive design, experience
design, ICT, and education.
The creators of this open source network seek users on the autism spectrum
of all ages, and welcome their collaboration.

The Reactive Colours© research project is based in the Centre for Research
in Art & Design, Cardiff School of Art & Design, University of Wales
Institute, Cardiff."

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