Many people on the autism spectrum experience some degree of sensory sensitivity. Loud noises, scratchy clothing, bright lights, and other forms of sensory stimulus that most people handle without much trouble can be painful or hard to deal with for some on the autism spectrum, and can lead to sensory overload. Auti-sim is a simulation that attempts to give an idea of what sensory overload can feel like.
More specifically, the simulator, developed at last weekend's Hacking Health event in Vancouver, tries to simulate auditoritory sensitivity. Auti-sim places you on a virtual playground filled with kids screaming and yelling. As you move around the playground and approach other kids, the sound of the voices get louder—and eventually reaches ear-splitting levels that might have you tearing off your headphones. The simulator also blurs your virtual vision to represent the cognitive impairment that sensory overload can cause.
Not everyone with autism experiences sensory overload—in fact, some are "hyposensitive" and actually crave certain kinds of stimulus that others may find annoying—but Auti-sim can give you a taste of what some with autism have to contend with on a daily basis.
If you want to give it a try, head on over to GameJolt. But be warned: Your ears will hate you.
This story, "This simulator lets you get a taste of what it's like to be autistic" was originally published by TechHive.