Using Game Based Technology as a Mediating Function in Interventions to Develop Pretend Play Skills in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Louisa Bremner, Carlo Fabricatore, Ximena Lopez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder, relating to symptoms of lack of imaginary play. It is associated with poor outcomes in terms of independent living, educational attainment, employment, and social relationships. Pretend play is typically delayed in those with ASD diagnoses. Interventions using game-based technology are increasingly being used for children with autism with promising results. Learning from existing research could guide the design of future applications, and the use of technology to mediate pretend play interventions, leading to better outcomes for those with ASD. This paper reviews studies that have sought to improve pretend play interventions using technologies in children with ASD. Seven studies were included in the review after conducting a systemic database search. These were analysed for use of technology as a mediating function in the interventions. The results identify the relative impact of the interventions on the targeted skills of children and individuals with ASD. These show that using technologies as mediating functions had a positive impact in several areas of skill deficits that limit the success of children with ASD, not only in pretend play, but also with the associated skills, important for adult life and independence. This suggests that Game based technology shows good potential as a mediating function for enhancement of pretend play intervention for children with ASD.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning ECGBL 2019
EditorsLars Elbæk, Gunver Majgaard, Andrea Valente, Saifuddin Khalid
Place of PublicationReading
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781912764372
ISBN (Print)9781912764389, 1912764385
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019
Event13th European Conference on Games Based Learning - The University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 3 Oct 20194 Oct 2019
Conference number: 13


Conference13th European Conference on Games Based Learning
Abbreviated titleECGBL 2019
Internet address


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