OCAD University Open Research Repository

Self Impression: Exploration of Autistic Representation in Video Games through Self Advocacy

Rehanek, Nedward WD (2024) Self Impression: Exploration of Autistic Representation in Video Games through Self Advocacy. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Rehanek, Nedward WD

Representation in video games rarely includes autistic characters, and when they do they are
fabricated in a way that produces a single note and flat design, or rarely speaks to the depth of
autistic experiences in everyday life. Usually, autistic representation is made by those who are
not autistic and autistic resources may be consulted but there aren't autistic voices within the
project, which can lead to this static and stereotypical representation. What sort of representation
is produced when autistic people are given the ability to direct the design, and how does this
inform future autistic representation?
This is an exploratory research study upholding the principles of design justice with discussions
on autistic representation and where it stands now, and where it can improve. There are
participant-led character creation sessions where autistic people make their own representations
of autistic characters. These characters, the way they were built and the messages they wanted
their character to uphold inform further discussion of representation.
Results illustrate the need for autistic-made autistic representation in media, including video
games due to a current lack of diversity in representation. The characters designed were vastly
different from one another and spoke to each participant’s individual experiences being a person
with autism and the way their autistic identity may intersect with other identities or experiences
unique to them. This spectrum is so vast that it is imperative to hire people with autism to create
future representations to build fleshed out and unique characters, and which can boost
empowerment and advocacy.

Date: 1 May 2024
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism, Video Games, Representation, Self-Advocacy
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 13:36
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 13:36
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4361

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