While most kids his age are still a few years away from the work experience, 13-year-old Yardley resident Franklin Roth has been interning this summer as a video games tester at Skyless Games Studios on the campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Skyless is a gaming design company that creates educational video games, including AssembleIt, a puzzle game that teaches cooperative problem solving and teamwork to children on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in order to build cohesive connections between the players – something children with ASD typically find difficult during everyday interactions.
With support from All About Abilities- a Newtown company that serves young adults with special needs- Franklin, who is on the Spectrum, hops on a southbound train from the Yardley Station once a week and heads to University City where he works at the gaming design studio testing games.
Franklin's input helps the design team by reporting relative difficulty and bugs, ability to change between game levels, and overall performance of the games he tests. Like most kids his age, Franklin's an expert gamer, his favorite game being Minecraft.
Mike Kelly, director of All About Abilities, who brokered this summer internship for Franklin, said that his star student has learned a lot not only about the video gaming experience, but about himself. "I'm very proud of Franklin for seizing this opportunity. He's done a fantastic job."
"Thanks to Chris Bennett of Skyless Games for providing this opportunity to my student," said Kelly. "And if not for Franklin's mother Kate getting me involved, Franklin would not have had this rewarding and unique experience."
"I'm having a fun time," Franklin said. "It's really cool working here."
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