Social Games are Fun

Chief Investigators


Social environments can be challenging for many adults with disability. We believe that the natural language processing capability of conversational voice interfaces and the engaging qualities of interactive storytelling games can provide people with social interaction difficulties with a playful, accessible, and cost-effective training platform to improve their social skills.

The storytelling game we have developed is played via a smart speaker, taking advantage of that technology’s low cost, versatility and accessibility. Our game is designed to expose players to various social interactions that require a response. Player’s respond by choosing from three pre-determined choices and branching storylines provide communicative consequences of those choices. Players are provided with feedback at the end of the story.

A recent trial of our game found that smart speaker based social skills training has clear benefits in terms of development and accessibility. Trial participants found the voice-based interface easy to use and helpful to focus and think about social skills. Participants were able to follow and play the interactive story despite parsing issues. A/B/C options facilitated easy choice selection when speech recognition fails to parse voice input.

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