By Gianni Di Giovanni
Gaming technology is being used for more than just high scores, with software originally designed for entertainment being rebuilt for training, safety and education.
A new app in development by game developers Bytesprite Games, of Northbridge, and Telethon will be used to assist autism spectrum research into social cues and expand our understanding of the way people think.
Developer Liam Hunt says the app will investigate whether you can use a game to encourage children with autism spectrum disorders to focus more on facial expressions, instead of focussing on non-social information, while still being entertaining.
“We look at the games we create, as a game first, not because the educational aspect is diminished at all, but ultimately you are competing for people’s time and attention with other full scale commercial games,” said Mr Hunt.
“If your game isn’t fun people aren’t going to play it and they aren’t going to pay attention to what you are trying to teach.”
Game engines, the software that allows 3D games to be created, are also being used to train workers in mining and heavy industrial environments while being engaging and portable.
Camille Hein is a software developer at Sentient Computing, of Balcatta, who says the low cost and fast speed of creating training modules mean that the largest companies in the state are embracing the technology.
“We can create something that can be used anywhere in the world, that’s much more interesting than a printed manual, and people can blow things up without putting anyone in danger,” said Ms Hein.
ByteSprite Games have previously worked with the Department of Health to create a web-based game called Infection Protection that warns young people of the dangers of sexually transmitted infections.