Recommending Social-Interactive Games for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Yiu-Kai Ng and Maria Soledad Pera. 2018. “Recommending Social-Interactive Games for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)”. In Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2018).


Games play a significant role in modern society, since they affect people of all ages and all walks of life, whether it be socially or mentally, and have direct impacts on adults with autism. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a collection of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by qualitative impairments in social relatedness and interaction, as well as difficulties in acquiring and using communication and language abilities. Adults with ASD often find it difficult to express and recognize emotions which makes it hard for them to interact with others socially. We have designed new interactive and collaborative games for autistic adults and developed a novel strategy to recommend games to them. Using modern computer vision and graphics techniques, we (i) track the player’s speech rate, facial features, eye contact, audio communication, and emotional states, and (ii) foster their collaboration. These games are personalized and recommended to a user based on games interested to the user, besides the complexity of games at different levels according to the deficient level of the emotional understanding and social skills to which the user belongs. The objective of developing and recommending short-head (i.e., familiar) and long-tail (i.e., unfamiliar) games for adults with ASD is to enhance their social interacting skills with peers so that they can live a better life.