Kymberly Martin
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Young people on the spectrum show their gaming skills

Young people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome have developed two computer games that were shown at the recent gaming convention, Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Australia.

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Games participants were mentored by a group of tech professionals with The Lab Online, a national not-for-profit network of technology clubs for young people with autism or Asperger’s.

The Lab Network, national coordinator, Alan Morgans, said this year’s PAX presentation gave an insight into how The Lab is thriving online, how mentors worked with participants, learnt to work collaboratively and what they most enjoyed about the sessions.

 “It is impressive proof of how The Lab’s expansion of online sessions during Covid-19 restrictions on meeting in person is keeping young people on the spectrum connected, happy, creative and productive,” he said.

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Scrapnell is a demolition battle royal car game and Paxexion is a 2D game based on participants attending and exploring the PAX environment. Both demonstrated the diversity of skills taught at The Lab, including coding, sound effects, artificial intelligence, art and concept development, digital design, 3D and more.

“The video we presented to PAX was edited from several hours of recorded Zoom sessions and interviews with everyone involved,” Morgans said. “These games were created in a five-week period, which is outstanding considering participants only meet weekly.”

PAX is a global gaming convention held annually in Australia. It attracts tens of thousands of Australians interested in gaming including, gaming tournaments, industry expo sessions and cosplay competitions.

Go to the PAX presentation here: https://youtu.be/p2Vh6MONHIM