What many people do not understand about autism is the way we think may not be the way we act. Its like having a different person on the inside and outside is another person. What I am saying is role playing is something we face everyday as we try to act the a certain way that will be acceptable for everyone.
Dan: If it was not for role-playing games I think my social interaction with people would be a lot worse than it already is. I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age 40. When I was a kid they mistook my autism with ADHD and social anxiety disorder. It was a living hell for me to be around people. For some reason gaming pulled me out of my shell. Gamers seem to be less judgmental I guess.
Comments: Very interesting read. What qualities of a game system do you feel lend themselves better to promoting a positive experience?
The game system is merely the excuse to bring the person with autism out of their world into the next and hopefully ours.
Comments: In that sense do you think "Story games" That often have a more social interaction bases built into the mechanics could be more or less effective?
Depends on the person - no two people on the spectrum are the same however a need to 'communicate' through or in character is a good excuse to help them reach out.
Comments: Role-Playing Games also help develop a lot of skills needed later. Like micromanaging, creativity, time management, among other things. I'd recommend to any gamer that they should play at least a tabletop Role-playing Game at least once in their life. Hopefully they should find a decent game master.
Comments: I suffer from depression and a growing social anxiety. The depression started when I was 10, and I started gaming when I was 11. Gaming has been an outlet for 32 years now. I can't imagine my life without gaming.