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Autism and video games: A connection

Being diagnosed with aspergers at the age of two, I never had the thought of how different I was from the other kids I befriended during my childhood. We played together when we could, but when it came to being stuck at home my two older siblings always going outside and going off somewhere left me with a feeling of isolation as I was in my room. I had my television as my entertainment, but my video games provided a way of developing a creative mind.


Super Mario Bros. 3 was my first childhood game that I played since I could hold a controller, and influenced my future drawings.



The problem with being diagnosed too was that I was held back a year from school, I was a bit of a late bloomer with learning and I had to take Ritalin to slow down my hyperactiveness and wandering mind as I was progressing up to the fourth grade. Some teachers also took notice of the drawings I made in-between class assignments, my new hobby of drawing branched off of my video games, and my parents were concerned.

This led to them introducing a new two hour limit to my video game playing and sometimes it was difficult to tolerate for me. Since I had an NES in my room, along with my CRT television, I would rarely attempt to play the games at night. The problem was that the lighting from the TV image could be seen from underneath the bedroom door and I could easily be spotted if noticed.



Simple doodles are a start for anybody, but as early as the fourth grade my art was already evolving.



Between the third and fourth grade, my teachers were noticing that I was beginning to put my drawings on my classwork papers showing off more of my art, as I was intrigued to see their reactions to them. Very few times they took it well depending on what the drawings were. Since I was getting better, I began drawing familiar characters, Sonic the Hedgehog, any of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and even Garfield.

But problems arose when I sometimes didn't draw on my papers, but instead left stressful comments for the assignments I had to do. Sometimes I left messages like "I give up" or "I quit" and left papers half done. I did get help as I was expected to, but this left a bad impression for the school I.E.P. folder and it led to a discussion with my parents about my road bumps in progress of education.


As technology was moving forward, so was my love for video games and pictured above is pretty much how I looked being stunned by the new graphics, as I was putting off my homework.



I was getting better with paying attention with my work, but I still had some subjects that I was weak at (math and history, mostly), and the Ritalin medicine was a thing of the past, I even stopped drawing on my classwork being new to middle school. To substitute, I was in the new hobby of collecting Pok'emon cards, as well as discussing the Pok'emon series in general.

Because I was maturing at this time as well, my parents gave me the privilege of setting my own hours of playing my video games, and this was a big help, as my high school years to come made for a time when I really needed them to cope with the new reality that familiar classmates and friends, would soon be moving on with their lives, and gone.


I broadened my horizons with video games as the years were passing. Collecting magazines, merchandise, and more as I was earning my way from better school grades.



And with that, my tale of being an autistic gamer ends here. How have video games affected you in your childhood? Leave a comment, and see you next article!

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Benjanime Posted on Nov 16, 2020 at 05:08 PM


i'm glad i could share a life experience in my perspective, there are many out there that don't always have a general idea of how autism can affect behaviors or interests for those diagnosed with it, thanks for reading ^^


i was also very trusting towards others from this, doing stuff for people whether or not they thanked me, though if i didn't get thanked, i felt like i could have done better as i got the feeling that i wasn't good enough. i'm glad we relate so well with turning to our love for games and the magazines to help us escape from reality, my love ♥

Julie Posted on Nov 16, 2020 at 04:58 PM

Well, I also have Asperger's Syndrome and I'm going to say, I wouldn't "trade myself" for someone else who doesn't. It's thanks to this that I'm able to love more than anyone. Of course, it makes me more innocent and susceptible to false friendships and betrayals. But I have lived through it all, so now I am "vaccinated" to identify these pitfalls.
As for games, they're a beautiful escapism for everyone, not just for us. They bring music and cinema together in an interactive way like no other media has ever brought. No wonder it has become the most profitable media industry in existence. I'm retro gamer and I love all generations. And yes, I owe it to the 90s mags which marked an era.

Vaporman87 Posted on Nov 16, 2020 at 03:28 PM

Thanks again Ben, for a peak inside the life of someone dealing with autism, and it's real world effects.

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