Dearborn students help kids with autism stay safe online

three students working at computer

(U-M Dearborn)

Sean Croskey, Luke Pacheco, Aristotelis Papaioannou, and Dominic Retli, seniors at UM-Dearborn, developed a Nintendo-esque video game, with direction from UM-Ann Arbor emerging technologies librarian Patricia Anderson, that helps kids with disabilities better detect online predators.

The goal of the game is to find a missing prince or princess by interacting with other characters, making decisions through the dialogue on whether or not a character could trick or harm them. The last segment of the game helps the player analyze what decisions they could have made in order to be more successful, which is teaching them how to be more aware.

This project was awarded the Computer and Information Science Department’s first place prize and tied for most innovative. After previous attempts by different groups, these students were successful in part because of their dedication and persistence. They designed almost every aspect of the game and its database themselves, from writing the music, to incorporating original art.

Author: Samantha DeRosia, ITS Communications

Samantha is an intern for the ITS Communications team. You can reach her at