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"Will I always be not social?":
Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context
of a Minecraft Community for Autism
Kathryn E....
Introduction
2
Autism
3
Research Question
How does an online community for children with autism
define and practice sociality?
4
Autcraft
8
9
Ethnography
10
Autcraft
“[the] first Minecraft server dedicated to providing a
safe, fun and learning environment for children on
the aut...
Demographics
12
Ages 6+
Preteens, teens
diagnosed with autism
Allies - friends, advocates
Parents
Analysis
14
Searching For & Finding Community
“…so today i was thinking about how much i have been
bullied and how many friends ditche...
Searching For & Finding Community
“people would swear call me names break my builds
etc…becuz i am defrent… i didnt relize...
Searching For & Finding Community
“I guess that’s what Autcraft is for, meeting people
who go through the same thing as yo...
Defining Sociality
“So, I don’t ever [socialize]. The only way i am
social is online. I never hang out with my family or
d...
Defining Sociality
“Even being on [Autcraft] is social.” (forums)
19
Defining Sociality
“I love being a member of the [Autcraft] community and
love spending time with my 'family' here. …final...
Creating Community Online
“Well, the day is coming to a close… Autcraft’s 2nd
birthday. I have been up for a very long tim...
Creating Community Online
“I've heard from parents that told me that they were able
to see their children interacting with...
Creating Community Online
“…I am still feeling really great [about the event] because
even though they were just words on ...
Creating Community Online
“i sometimes ask others to help me… [Usually] i
would show them a picture on how to build it and...
Creating Community Online
“…while building that village I met this friend…and to this
day he is still my friend…” (directe...
A Community Redefining Sociality
does anyone want to mine with me
26
Discussion
27
Discussion
28
Discussion
29
Conclusion
ecosystem of social media supports sociality
Autcraft community redefining sociality
30
Thank You
31
@liltove
kateringland.com
kateringland@gmail.com
A special thanks to my coauthors and
members of LUCI and STA...
"Will I always be not social?": Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context of a Minecraft Community for Autism
"Will I always be not social?": Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context of a Minecraft Community for Autism
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"Will I always be not social?": Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context of a Minecraft Community for Autism

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We explore how a Minecraft community for children with autism and their allies experience sociality and suggest an expansion of the normative definition of what it means to be social.

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"Will I always be not social?": Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context of a Minecraft Community for Autism

  1. 1. "Will I always be not social?": Re-Conceptualizing Sociality in the Context of a Minecraft Community for Autism Kathryn E. Ringland*, Christine T. Wolf*, Heather Faucett*, Lynn Dombrowski**, Gillian R. Hayes* *Department of Informatics University of California, Irvine {kringlan, wolfct, hfaucett, hayesg}@uci.edu **School of Informatics and Computing Indiana University, IUPUI lsdombro@iupui.edu
  2. 2. Introduction 2
  3. 3. Autism 3
  4. 4. Research Question How does an online community for children with autism define and practice sociality? 4
  5. 5. Autcraft 8
  6. 6. 9
  7. 7. Ethnography 10
  8. 8. Autcraft “[the] first Minecraft server dedicated to providing a safe, fun and learning environment for children on the autism spectrum and their families” (Autcraft website) 11
  9. 9. Demographics 12 Ages 6+ Preteens, teens diagnosed with autism Allies - friends, advocates Parents
  10. 10. Analysis 14
  11. 11. Searching For & Finding Community “…so today i was thinking about how much i have been bullied and how many friends ditched me. so i need some advice on how to make friends plz help thx guys” (forums) 15
  12. 12. Searching For & Finding Community “people would swear call me names break my builds etc…becuz i am defrent… i didnt relize people would be mean about [the username]… and i liked the name… theres other people on here [Autcraft] with *autism* or *Autistic* in there names…” (in-world interview) 16
  13. 13. Searching For & Finding Community “I guess that’s what Autcraft is for, meeting people who go through the same thing as you, so you don’t feel alone?” (forum) 17
  14. 14. Defining Sociality “So, I don’t ever [socialize]. The only way i am social is online. I never hang out with my family or do anything. The only time i come out of my room is if we watch a family movie, i play baseball we go for a car ride or i go to work. Other than that i am in my room 24/7 on PC, YouTube text etc. Anyone else like this? Will i always be not social :( I really want to be social but its hard D:” (forum) 18
  15. 15. Defining Sociality “Even being on [Autcraft] is social.” (forums) 19
  16. 16. Defining Sociality “I love being a member of the [Autcraft] community and love spending time with my 'family' here. …finally just felt like I found a place that I fit in. A place I was accepted for being shy … and just being "different" than others. ... Most of my life I've never felt like I fit in anywhere…Here…I’m accepted.” (directed forums) 20
  17. 17. Creating Community Online “Well, the day is coming to a close… Autcraft’s 2nd birthday. I have been up for a very long time but we did 4 epic community dragon fights, shared tons of great memories, and had lots of fun partying in the ballroom on the server.” (Facebook) 21
  18. 18. Creating Community Online “I've heard from parents that told me that they were able to see their children interacting with others in the videos. They loved to see their kids having fun! Another parent told me that her son saw himself in one of the videos and he couldn't stop talking about what a great day it was.” (Facebook) 22
  19. 19. Creating Community Online “…I am still feeling really great [about the event] because even though they were just words on the screen, I could see the happiness in so many people today. They had the time of their lives. And so, I did too.” (Facebook) 23
  20. 20. Creating Community Online “i sometimes ask others to help me… [Usually] i would show them a picture on how to build it and we pick either get the items or start the build… i usually let them start because i am not the best builder” (in- world interview) 24
  21. 21. Creating Community Online “…while building that village I met this friend…and to this day he is still my friend…” (directed forums) 25
  22. 22. A Community Redefining Sociality does anyone want to mine with me 26
  23. 23. Discussion 27
  24. 24. Discussion 28
  25. 25. Discussion 29
  26. 26. Conclusion ecosystem of social media supports sociality Autcraft community redefining sociality 30
  27. 27. Thank You 31 @liltove kateringland.com kateringland@gmail.com A special thanks to my coauthors and members of LUCI and STAR for helping put this presentation together. And to the Autcraft community for their continual openness to my presence. All stock photos in this presentation were made available through Death to the Stock Photo, Unsplash, and Negative Space to be used attribution free.

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