Elisabeth Whyte isn’t a typical gamer: She has her very own World of Warcraft podcast, a fan following and a blog frequented by 15,000 visitors each month. Though her online persona specializes in dragon slaying, in real life she’s a postdoctoral research assistant and psychology lecturer at Pennsylvania State University who is leveraging her gaming expertise to design a computer game that could help adolescents with autism improve their social skills.

Whyte is examining  whether teenagers with autism benefit from playing a computer game that tests their ability to interpret and respond to such nonverbal cues as head turns and eye gazes. 

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