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Auti-Sim, a game about autism, is very distressing

Mar 01 // Jim Sterling    @JimSterling

Horror games could learn a thing or two

I've just "played" Auti-Sim, and I feel awful. The short interactive experience, brought to my attention by the fine folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, has been designed to recreate the effects of auditory hypersensitivity disorder, and it's not very pleasant at all. 

The experience isn't a long one, and all you really do is walk around a playground, but that's all it needs to create something truly shudder-worthy. As vision becomes obscured and the sounds of children at play become ghastly screeches and screams, Auti-Sim does a better job at distressing its player than any survival horror game. 

As an attempt to educate users on the effects of autism, its merit can be debated. As an exercise in nightmarish effects, I think horror developers could take note. If this kind of experience were made into a full, playable game, I think we'd have something to give Amnesia a real run for its money. 

Check it out! I fully expect the braggarts among you to claim it wasn't scary at all, but I found it quite sinister. 


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Jim Sterling // Former Reviews Editor
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