I love this blog so, so, so much and I am so happy it exists. I go to school for special education and game design and I have devoted a large portion of my life working with children with specific needs, helping them to learn new tricks to feel more included and comfortable in social spaces. I was eventually hoping to create a video game that would help to teach these very concepts, as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, if you wouldn’t mind sharing ^_^
I don’t know huge amounts about game design, but I’ve wondered if there’s a way to use games to teach people about boundaries.
Maybe you could make a game about saying no?
And I’m not talking about “say no to drugs” or “resist peer pressure to do things adults think you shouldn’t” or any of that. I’m talking about figuring out what you want, and saying no when you don’t want that thing.
I think it might help to make a list of situations in which people might be pressured into making choices one way or the other. Like:
- when adults want you to be friends with someone
- when people want to play with you
- when someone wants to borrow your toy
- when someone wants your phone number
- when someone wants to be your girlfriend/boyfriend
- when someone wants a hug
And then make game situations involving those things? This would be hard to write, but I bet it could be done. (One reason it would be hard to write is that saying no doesn’t always work even when you have every right to say no, and it’s important not to teach kids that it’s their fault when they can’t make people stop hurting them.)
It’s really, really important for people to be able to assert boundaries. And people with disabilities are often taught from early childhood that they aren’t allowed to have any boundaries, dislike anything, or say no.