Child safety online: Google game teaches kids to be “Internet Awesome”

07/06/2017

Google has created a new web-based game designed to teach the fundamentals of internet safety to children.

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The game, called “Interland”, forms part of a programme called Be Internet Awesome, developed in conjunction with online safety bodies such as ConnectSafely, the Internet Keep Safe Coalition, and the Family Online Safety Institute.

The game is designed to teach five core internet principles around being “internet smart,” “internet alert,” “internet strong,” “internet kind,” and “internet brave.”

There are four lands through which young gamers come up against phishers, hackers, bullies, and over-sharers — those who reveal too much information about themselves online.

In “Kind Kingdom,” for example, players collect hearts and tools to help them spread kindness to characters they meet in the game, while also blocking and reporting bullies they meet on the way.

Google and partners have also developed resources and a video series for parents, called the Be Internet Awesome challenge, which is designed to make “talking about online safety fun and accessible,” according to Google.

As well as schools, Google wants to get parents on board. In its blog announcement, the web giant writes:

“Without some guidance, having a meaningful conversation about digital safety and respect at home can be really hard. These are sensitive topics and parents may not know where to start. To help make starting the conversation easier, we teamed up with a group of YouTube creators, including John Green, the What’s Inside? Family and MinutePhysics, to launch the #BeInternetAwesome Challenge, a video series that makes talking about online safety fun and accessible. Families can reinforce important lessons at home by signing the Be Internet Awesome Pledge to stay smart, alert, strong, kind and brave online.”

Play the Interland game here


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