Design Process of an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) as a Strategy to Foster Social Support and Well-being of Mothers of Children with ASD
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© 2019 IEEE.This paper documents the design process of an online alternate reality game whose purpose is to promote social support, self-efficacy, and well-being of mothers whose children recently received diagnoses of autism. The methodology is a mix of action research and design-and-development research. It included a focus group and an online focus group with eleven mothers of children with ASD. The mothers were between 27 and 51 years old. Their children were between 5 and 17. The storytelling, ludic, and discourse design of the game were based on the mothers' experiences and state-of-the-art research. The game content included stories and media created specially for it as well as media already available in different formats such as comic books, videos, and tests. Once the game is finished, it will be validated by mothers, autism experts, and psychologists. The game will be available in the Aprendiz platform for a small group of mothers to play and provide feedback. The goal of this research, when it reaches its final state, is to explore the usefulness of the ARG from the mothers' points of view; this means that we will study the game from a phenomenological approach. The larger research-action project, of which this work is a part, has the final purpose of creating educational games and other online contents and communities for parents of persons with ASD.