Some people think of video games and also think of “lazy” in the same sentence. We know that’s not the case. Video games are actually a lot more important that most people seem to think.
I read recently on My Nintendo News that a 5th grader from Japan sent fan mail to Nintendo. Nintendo responded with a personal letter instead of just an automated letter or not responding at all.
This young boy is blind. In the letter, he stated that he would love to play video games just like everyone else, but can’t. So, he plays the Rhythm Heaven games because all he has to do is listen to them. He wrote to Nintendo willing them to make another Rhythm Heaven game so he could continue to play video games with his friends.
Nintendo responded, with a letter written in Braille, that they forwarded his letter to the developers because they want everyone to play and enjoy games.
I thought this was great. Being a special education teacher I know how important video games can be to children with disabilities.
There’s something about video games that helps kids (and adults) get through their day.
Kids with Autism are especially drawn to video games. There are a number of reasons why:
- Some games have a predictable playthrough and are repetitive
- There’s no face to face social interaction
- They can control their environment
- It’s an escape and stress reliever from the real world
- They’re fun
My cousin has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism, and he used to memorize games like the back of his hand. He would remember how to unlock everything from every game he played. Of course, his father played a lot of video games so his love for gaming stemmed from that, regardless of his disability.
I used to babysit for a boy, also with Asperger’s, and whenever he was home, he was playing video games. It was actually kind of a problem, but that was his outlet.
A lot of my students, though they’re preschoolers, play games such as Mario. They mimic the coin and jumping sounds, they try to run fast like Mario, and one of my students held up a book and starting spinning it like a wheel saying, “Drive the controller!” She used to be non-verbal and her current speech is scattered, so I was surprised when she did that because, of course, my first thought was Mario Kart. And she started doing that shortly after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out.
With all that said, I think it was wonderful that Nintendo took the time to respond to that young boy. They probably have no idea what an impact their work has on such children.
And I think it’s awesome that everyone, no matter what, can get involved in gaming.
How does this make you feel? Do you know anyone with impairments who are drawn to video games? Let me know in the comments below!