Gaming for kids just got a whole lot safer. The Australian government’s Office of the eSafety Commissioner, in collaboration with The Project Factory (the digital development arm of global communications company Way To Blue) has released The Lost Summer, a really fun and relevant game for 11-14 year-olds designed to help young Australians maneuver the digital world, and develop skills that encourage online safety.
The 2.5D game officially launched to the public last week in Sydney. The team at The Project Factory spent the last 10 months designing, developing and bringing the game to life, for young students to be able to play it on iOS, Android, Mac and PC.
The idea behind The Lost Summer is a fun and engaging way to get students to develop their digital intelligence skills through a gamified learning experience, since online gaming is exceptionally popular with youngsters in that age group.
The Lost Summer is set in a futuristic, fictional Australian city (with diverse characters and cultures) known as ‘South Coast City.’ Within the game, players get to interact with the characters as they explore the city, while completing a series of quests which help them “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, including respect and empathy to others and their culture, embracing diversity and freedom of speech, and critically thinking about what they see online. All of these are especially important in countering the pervasive current culture of cyber bullying and misinformation.
The Lost Summer is now available on Apple, Google Play and as a desktop download.