Jessica - posted on 01/30/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )
My 7.5 year old son is, like any kid these days, a fan of video games. His fine motor skills have progressed a lot in the last year, but we're finding that some kinds of games *really* push all the hot buttons on his Asperger's. In particular, games that require the player to fail/"die" many times before succeeding at a level (even worse, the ones that don't have a save point close to that area, so you have to start over much further back in the progress of the game every time you fail) really ramp up the frustration. Thrown controllers, verbal and physical lashing-out at anyone who suggests he stop, and a number of other outcomes are common.
The problem is, there's no information out there on video games that operate that way, or those that are either more collaborative, storytelling games, or games that are primarily about learning about the character and its world freely as they work their way through a guided quest to collect a series of items, or visit a series of places.
We've had good luck with the LEGO series of games (though some can be frustrating at points), and we recently checked Mini Ninjas out on Gamefly, and it seems just about perfect--he remained happy, having fun, but pretty chilled out the whole playing time, and threw no fits about finding a checkpoint to save and stop when we asked.
What has your experience been? We're okay with superhero games with comic-book-level violence, but the calmer and more positive the play and aftereffects, the better. Recommendations or warnings? Any info is welcome!