Way to Blue's digital development arm - The Project Factory - has launched a game aimed at helping young Australians build digital intelligence skills and encourage online safety.
The Lost Summer game is an initiative developed by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and is designed for 11-14 year-olds. The Project Factory spent 10 months designing, developing and bringing the game to life to be played by students on iOS, Android, Mac and PC.
The game immerses players in a futuristic Australian environment where they learn the importance of social and emotional skills such as critical thinking, empathy, resilience, respect and responsibility to complete challenges and advance through the game. Players progress through five chapters, each focusing on a key area of digital intelligence.
Julie Inman Grant, eSafety commissioner said: “The Lost Summer is a fun and engaging way to get students thinking about the importance of digital intelligence skills through a gamified learning experience. Given the popularity of online gaming among young people, we know this is a format they enjoy and that resonates with them.”
Matt Purchase, games developer at The Project Factory added: “We are really passionate about building games that provide a learning avenue for the next generation and are genuinely excited to see the results of our labour.”
Research conducted by the Department of Education and Training and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in 2016 , showed a high likelihood that Australian young people will be exposed to negative online behaviour such as cyberbullying and racism. This reinforced the need for early intervention in building 'digital resilience' and an understanding of respectful relationships, which the game aims to achieve.
The Lost Summer is now available on both Apple, Google play and desktop download.