Background: Virtual reality (VR) adventure games can offer ideal technological solutions for training social skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), leveraging their support for multisensory and multiplayer interactions over distance, which may lower barriers to training access and increase user motivation. However, the design of VR-based game environments for social skills training is still understudied and deserves the deployment of an inclusive design approach to ensure its acceptability by target users. Objective: We aimed to present the inclusive design process that we had followed to develop the Zentastic VR adventure game to foster social skills training in adolescents with ASD and to investigate its feasibility as a training environment for adolescents. Methods: The VR game supports multiplayer training sessions involving small groups of adolescents and their therapists, who act as facilitators. Adolescents with ASD and their therapists were involved in the design and in an explorative acceptability study of an initial prototype of the gaming environment, as well as in a later feasibility multisession evaluation of the VR game final release. Results: The feasibility study demonstrated good acceptability of the VR game by adolescents and an enhancement of their social skills from baseline to posttraining. Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary evidence of the benefits that VR-based games can bring to the training of adolescents with ASD and, potentially, other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Co-Design of a Virtual Reality Multiplayer Adventure Game for Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Mixed Methods Study / Gabrielli, S.; Cristofolini, M.; Dianti, M.; Alvari, G.; Vallefuoco, E.; Bentenuto, A.; Venuti, P.; Ibarra, O. M.; Salvadori, E.. - In: JMIR SERIOUS GAMES. - ISSN 2291-9279. - 11:1(2023). [10.2196/51719]

Co-Design of a Virtual Reality Multiplayer Adventure Game for Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Mixed Methods Study

Gabrielli S.
;
Cristofolini M.;Dianti M.;Alvari G.;Vallefuoco E.;Bentenuto A.;Venuti P.;Salvadori E.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: Virtual reality (VR) adventure games can offer ideal technological solutions for training social skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), leveraging their support for multisensory and multiplayer interactions over distance, which may lower barriers to training access and increase user motivation. However, the design of VR-based game environments for social skills training is still understudied and deserves the deployment of an inclusive design approach to ensure its acceptability by target users. Objective: We aimed to present the inclusive design process that we had followed to develop the Zentastic VR adventure game to foster social skills training in adolescents with ASD and to investigate its feasibility as a training environment for adolescents. Methods: The VR game supports multiplayer training sessions involving small groups of adolescents and their therapists, who act as facilitators. Adolescents with ASD and their therapists were involved in the design and in an explorative acceptability study of an initial prototype of the gaming environment, as well as in a later feasibility multisession evaluation of the VR game final release. Results: The feasibility study demonstrated good acceptability of the VR game by adolescents and an enhancement of their social skills from baseline to posttraining. Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary evidence of the benefits that VR-based games can bring to the training of adolescents with ASD and, potentially, other neurodevelopmental disorders.
2023
1
Gabrielli, S.; Cristofolini, M.; Dianti, M.; Alvari, G.; Vallefuoco, E.; Bentenuto, A.; Venuti, P.; Ibarra, O. M.; Salvadori, E.
Co-Design of a Virtual Reality Multiplayer Adventure Game for Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Mixed Methods Study / Gabrielli, S.; Cristofolini, M.; Dianti, M.; Alvari, G.; Vallefuoco, E.; Bentenuto, A.; Venuti, P.; Ibarra, O. M.; Salvadori, E.. - In: JMIR SERIOUS GAMES. - ISSN 2291-9279. - 11:1(2023). [10.2196/51719]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/404403
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