TED: Stuart Duncan

This week’s TED Talk was filmed during the 2017 TEDxYorkUSalon that took place on April 22 in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) under the general title of Autism innovations.

The internet can be an ugly place, but you won’t find bullies or trolls on Stuart Duncan’s Minecraft server, AutCraft. Designed for children with autism and their families, AutCraft creates a safe online environment for play and self-expression for kids who sometimes behave a bit differently than their peers (and who might be singled out elsewhere).

In his talk, Stuart Duncan explains how when you have autism, you behave a little differently sometimes, sometimes a lot differently. And we all know a little bit of difference is all you really need for a bully to make you their next target.

Stuart decided to do something about that: he set up a Minecraft server and spent some time building a little village with some roads and a big welcome sign and this guy and a lodge up on a mountaintop, trying to make it inviting.

The idea was pretty simple: create a white list, so only people that had been pre-approved could join, and monitor the server to make sure that nothing went wrong. And that was it, that was the whole promise: to keep the kids safe so they could play.

Stuart Duncan is the single father of two boys, one with autism and one without, and he has Aspergers himself. Duncan is the author of the autism parenting blog Autism From a Father’s Point of View and the author of several autism e-books.

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