If you’re in the mood for a couple of minutes’ worth of unsettling gaming, look no further than Auti-Sim, a game designed to illustrate auditory hypersensitivity, a common condition in autism spectrum disorders. You play a child in a sunny playground full of other noisy kids, free to move around and explore the environment. But as you approach, the playful screams turn to piercing shrieks, and the sounds of ABCs being recited become unbearable. The screen fills with static to further convey your discomfort, only subsiding when you move to a quieter corner of the playground to cool down.
Designed to 'irritate the hell out of your senses'
As reported by Ars Technica, the game was created by a three-person team as part of Vancouver’s Hacking Health hackathon. Now that a trial version has been built, the team plans to develop a longer game, with more settings, deeper gameplay, and intelligent characters. It may have "sim" in the title, but team lead Taylan Kadayifcioglu tells Ars that rather than simulate what hypersensitivity actually feels like, the was goal was to provoke a similar kind of discomfort in neurotypical people. In other words, Auti-Sim is designed to "irritate the hell out of your senses."