Double Fine “humbled” by therapeutic use of Once Upon A Monster

By Brenna Hillier, Friday, 27 April 2012 07:55 GMT

Special Effect uses the Kinect-powered Once Upon A Monster in its efforts to support kids with special needs, something Double Fine didn’t expect but is understandably chuffed about.

Special Effect is a charitable organisation dedicated to making games accessible to kids with disabilities. Some games make it much easier, and the organisation has noted particular success with Once Upon a Monster; see it in action in the video below.

Speaking to MyXboxLive, Double Fine’s Nathan Martz said accessibility wasn’t necessarily a key goal of the project, but a happy side effect.

“It’s hard to express how it feels to know that our game has helped special needs children and the adults who work with them, but I think humbled and very, very happy are a good start,” he said.

“When we set out to create Once Upon A Monster, our primary goal was to make a positive, uplifting game that kids and parents would feel better for having played.

“As a game creator, it’s often hard to know what sort of impact your creation has had on people’s lives, so knowing that people have found a way to use it therapeutically, to improve the lives of special needs kids in a meaningful, tangible way makes me feel like we actually accomplished what we set out to do, even more than that. It’s a very good feeling indeed.”

Once Upon A Monster was followed by Double Fine Happy Action Theater, a game praised by parenting groups for its playability even by very young children – but enjoyable for anyone.

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