Autistic gamers

Wired's Ryan Rigney on the double-edged sword that online worlds present for austists: "You might think you know World of Warcraft, but you don’t know it the way Ian Bates does."


  1. Is that… yes, it is the Red Shirt Guy!!!

    “But it wasn’t the color of his clothes or the content of the exchange that caused people to share the question, it was Bates’ cringeworthy awkwardness: the stammering, the unusual rising and falling pitch inflections of his voice, and the intense concentration on remarkably minute details.”
    I don’t quite agree with this. Yes, people were wondering about his voice etc, but the reason he went viral and is known as the “Red Shirt Guy” is that he noticed that an important person was missing, which the Blizzard people in the panel thought that they had killed off in a book, and nobody else had noticed this either. So he became an instant “folk hero”. At least the general feeling amongst players seemed to be of excitement about him getting an NPC ingame (check for instance the comments here:

    Oh, and the guy who got the perma ban for just arguing… that doesn’t sound correct. Generally you get several temporary bans before a perma ban Either he had already got warnings/temporary bans, or whatever he did must have been pretty bad to warrant an instant ban (that the article makes it sound like it was).

  2. During the days of text-based MUDs, I made close friends with another player from Finland (I was in Australia) who had Aspergers. At the time I didn’t know really what that meant, all I knew was that he was very serious about playing the game… After 3-4 years of playing together most days I eventually visited him in Finland and just before leaving he told me he was mostly deaf and would have trouble talking to me in person … however when I arrived we got on awesomely. It always struck me as such a wonderful thing. If I had met my friend on the street it would have been so hard for me to communicate with him in person because his deafness, awkwardness and speech problems would have made initial conversation hard. Not to mention his casual shyness. Yet when I met him in Sweden (we took the ferry to Helsinki together) we instantly got on just like we did online. Of all the things I remember about that time one of the things I hold most dear is how his parents were so happy for me to be there. Their son was in my mind one of my closest friends and to them it meant a lot to have someone stay with them who could just chat with their loved one for hours on end. The internet can be a pretty special thing :)

  3. Minecraft. I’ve met more autistic people online via Minecraft than any other online anything aside from sites/forums devoted to autism.
    I wanna know the connection. I find it rather fascinating. Though, maybe it’s just the servers I’ve played in. Just seems such an odd coincidence.

      1.  No consequences? An endless parade of holes in the ground where my gardens used to be due to a lack of anti-creeper precautions begs to differ!

Comments are closed.