Australia’s Office of the eSafety Commissioner has launched a new video game which students are actually encouraged to play at school.
The Lost Summer is specially designed for students to play in the classroom to encourage digital intelligence and online safety skills.
Aimed at 11 to 14-year-olds, The Lost Summer immerses players in a futuristic environment where they are required to exercise skills such as critical thinking, empathy, resilience, respect and responsibility to complete challenges and advance through the game.
Players take on the role of various young people within a diverse community and complete quests assigned to them by mentors they encounter along the way. Throughout the game, players are confronted with a variety of challenges, including conflicts on social media, cyber-attacks and fake news. Players need to use various skills and work to support their fellow characters to overcome these challenges and progress through the game.
eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said that The Lost Summer is a fun and engaging way to get young Australians thinking about the social and emotional skills they need to navigate the online world safely.
“We know that online gaming is hugely popular among young people,” Ms Inman Grant said.
“Unfortunately, the increasing popularity of online gaming has also given rise to some negative experiences for young people, particularly in-game bullying.”
“We’ve created a gamified experience that is engaging and will resonate with young people as they learn the importance of digital intelligence.”
…learn the importance of digital intelligence.
According to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, digital intelligence means having the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to understand and adapt one’s emotional and behavioural responses in overcoming the challenges of the digital era.
For young people, this is directly linked to how they use technology and includes the social, emotional, and cognitive abilities essential to digital life. The Lost Summer focuses on key aspects of digital intelligence including:
- Respect – acting respectfully towards others, acknowledging and appreciating that others may have different cultures, backgrounds and/or points of view.
- Critical thinking – thinking critically about what you see online and asking questions to identify and analyse information that may seek to exploit or misinform.
- Resilience – being resilient and responding with strength and maturity when risks are encountered online.
- Responsibility – being responsible about what you say and do by engaging positively with others and being accountable for your behaviour.
- Empathy – being empathetic to others and using emotional intelligence to respect opinions, embrace diversity of opinion and freedom of speech,
The Lost Summer can be downloaded for free from the App Store, Google Play or for desktop at esafety.gov.au/tls.
CyberHound is a proud supporter of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and its initiatives such as Safer Internet Day.