Joe Danger: Autistic boy, 8, inspired game reboot that helped him ‘experience normal kid stuff’ | Science and technology news
An eight-year-old autistic boy has inspired the relaunch of a hit mobile game after platform updates rendered it inoperable.
Jack loved the game Joe Danger – a motorcycle-riding daredevil – as it helped him cope with stress.
However, updates to Apple’s iOS operating system caused it to stop working.
So his father wrote to the developers Hello Games and asked them to bring it back online.
“Jack is 8 years old, about the cutest kid on the planet, and has been diagnosed with autism,” he said in the letter.
“Jack LOVES Joe. He loves everything about him. He has a collection of toy motorcycles that are his ‘Joe Dangers’; every bike we see on the street is ‘Joe Danger’.
“One of the things that allowed Jack and I to get together is our shared love of video games, especially Joe Danger.”
Jack’s father described how his son would say, “C’mon daddy, let’s play Joe Danger!” as soon as he got home from work.
“Just being able to say that phrase is a MASSIVE thing for a kid autism‘ he added in the letter.
The game also helped Jack interact with friends and family and allowed him to “experience normal kid stuff.”
Responding to Twitter, company founder Sean Murray said the letter “broke our hearts and made us want to make things right.”
“As a game developer, it’s so easy to underestimate the impact even your smallest games can have,” he said, sharing the father’s letter in the Post.
He added his team brought the game back – “slowly rebuilding it piece by piece over eight years of technological change.”
“It blows my mind that something you make could be someone’s first game they’ve played, scored at an important time, or even been their favorite game for a while,” he said.
Follow the daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, google podcasts, spotify, speaker
The game relaunched on iOS on Thursday.