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Canadian father creates safe zone for autistic kids to play Minecraft

Last Updated Aug 17, 2015 at 4:12 pm PST

(Courtesy autcraft.com)

Founder of site where autistic kids can play Minecraft free from bullies wishes it didn't need to exist

As proud as I am, -- I'm kind of disappointed that it ever had to be made in the first place: AutCraft creator

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The online sensation known as Minecraft has created thousands of spectacular scenes, but also it’s fair share of online trolls.

It’s a game where players can build constructions out of cubes in a 3D world. AutCraft was created to give the autistic community a safe place to play.

There are no limits to what anyone can create and there is no way to play the game wrong so some are heralding its benefits for the autistic community.

Canadian creator, Stuart Duncan says he built this site for his son.

“When I started it was because of the bullying of autistic children, but even I didn’t realize how bad that really was,” says Duncan. “When I started my server I only shared it with just a couple of friends and they spread the word so fast, that I got 750 emails in the first two days.”

Duncan believes the sandbox atmosphere the game can create is great for autistic kids who can struggle with fitting in.

“You’re free to do whatever you want, whatever way you want. Nobody can ever tell you ‘you’re playing the game wrong.’ You start to get creative, you start to get artistic, you start to get explorative. Anything that you love to do, if you love to do electrical work and automation, you can do that in there if you want to recreate Rome you can do that,” says Duncan. “We’ve had kids that never actually spoke before in real life and now they are starting to talk because they have something to talk about. They’re excited about the friends that they are making.”

There are now over 6,000 users, but Duncan says the site should never have to exist.

“It’s a lot more bullying and a lot more extreme bullying than people ever realize. As proud as I am, — I’m kind of disappointed that it ever had to be made in the first place.”