Researcher crowdfunds video games for autistic children

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SAN FRANCISCO - June 11, 2014 - PRLog -- A researcher from University of South Carolina is raising money through crowdfunding platform Experiment to create and test video games that may help children with Autism improve their social skills.
One of the hallmarks of Autism is impairment in social functioning. Whether its setting the table for dinner, giving a high five, or chasing each other on the playground, all of these typical childhood activities require the ability to cooperate with others — an ability that children with Autism struggle with. For many parents and caretakers of Autistic children, tools that effectively assess and train social skills can not come quickly enough.

With funding, Dr. Roger D. Newman-Norlund hopes to create a suite of teamwork games capable of assessing/teaching important social skills like turn-taking, imitation, complementary action, action prediction and the formation of internal models of others. In a pilot experiment, his team will assess the ability of these games, named the Cooperation Station, to improve social skills in children diagnosed with Autism.

“The science of teamwork has advanced to the point that we are ready to take what we know and apply it to real-world problems,” Newman-Norlund said. “The creation of this suite of video games will lay the foundation for important future discoveries.”

Through Experiment’s platform, Newman-Norlund is sharing progress reports in real-time. When backers give money to the project, they receive behind-the-scenes access to research updates, and recognition in the published results. In addition, Newman-Norlund is offering rewards depending on donation size. A $100 donation will also buy access to all the games and data collected.

The project has 33 days remaining to meet a funding target of $8,500. So far, they have raised $459 with the help of 8 backers.

Experiment recently surpassed $800,000 in total research funding raised. The site has been featured in The Economist, Forbes, Nature, and The New York Times.

Project Link:

For Immediate Release

Researcher Contact Info:

Roger D. Newman-Norlund

email:, phone: (803) 777-7167 (tel:%28803%29%20777-7167)

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Tags:Autism, Research, Video Games, Crowdfunding, Science
Industry:Research, Science
Location:San Francisco - California - United States
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