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World Autism Day: Celebrating Videogames and Autism

World Autism Day: Celebrating Videogames and Autism

Truthfully, this article started life as an article on Satoshi Tajiri, but then, upon doing research to focus on developers with autism, I noticed something: autism is not really discussed in the games industry. In fact, some developers will actively avoid mentioning the subject due to how many gamers will still use autistic as an insult.

When writing this article, I thought that I would try to help break this stigma a bit. After all, there’s no shame in any form of neurodivergence, and it’s not something anyone can prevent. After all, it’s not a disease when you can’t help the fact that your brain is simply wired that way.

So, let’s begin with the original focus of my article, Satoshi Tajiri.


Everyone has heard of Satoshi Tajiri, and it’s no wonder why, after all, he’s the creator of Pokémon. Pokémon has been a series that has defined many childhoods, and I recall how it was one way for me to bond with not only family but also friends. However, one commonly held belief was that Satoshi Tajiri was autistic, and upon doing my research, I discovered that he was simply commonly believed to have been on the spectrum due to his bug-collecting hobby.

Naturally, this was a blow to the original highlight of my article; however, it does bring me to a different point. To alleviate my disappointment, I thought I would do research into any other developers with autism. All that led to were rumours, with some even saying that Hidetaka Miyazaki (of FromSoftware) has autism. I have not found any confirmation of this, so I’m also going to consider this untrue unless claimed otherwise.

Looking around, I found there are few developers who are open about such things as neurodivergence. After all, if you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve most likely heard of being called autistic as an insult. Personally, all I realised while I was researching this article was that despite gaming being a great outlet for kids and adults with autism, it’s not always the friendliest space out there.


It doesn’t help that many people assume that being autistic means that you are inherently good with technology and maths. As a general rule, this is actually a myth, and it leads to the idea of the “wunderkind”, which is an equally damaging stereotype for those with autism. As someone with a family history (and a pending diagnosis) on the spectrum, it’s more damaging to claim that kids with autism are essentially geniuses in the field they may have a hyper fixation on.

While this began as an article to celebrate autism in gaming, I’ve instead chosen to focus on raising awareness and keeping an open mind about the subject. After all, I’ve come to realise that the one way to break the stigma of the subject, is by being open that misconceptions are more damaging than outright hostility.

So, today, let’s take a moment to consider how we can be more open about autism in gaming, and make an environment that’s welcoming of everyone (and, if the internet can stop using autistic as an insult, that would be grand).

Bex Prouse

Bex Prouse

Staff Writer

Writing about all sorts like a liquorice allsort

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