Dubai, UAE, March 10, 2023 : Cyborg Chase, an online game designed by school students to combat cyberbullying, was launched at Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills, an Innoventure group school. Cyborg Chase was developed over the course of a 3-day workshop, by the students of Dubai International Academy (DIA), Al Barsha and Emirates Hills.
The game, developed for the mobile app Fairside stories, will aim to increase awareness about online threats and help school students combat cyberbullying. During the course of the 3-day workshop, 25 students from grades four (IV), five (V), and six (VI) from both schools developed Cyborg Chase’s narrative, designed characters, and established the ethical decisions to be made in the game. The students also got an opportunity to interact and learn from the Dubai Police about the dangers of online information theft, misuse of data, and cyberbullying.
The game was a result of the collaboration between Bahwan Cybertek’s (BCT) Life-Long Learning Solutions (LLS) division and BigFatPhoenix (BFP) Interactive, the creators of Fairside stories, a collection of story-based role-playing games for children where they make tough choices, observe the outcomes of their decisions and learn about their values.
“The need of the hour for Digital Natives is a curriculum that nurtures and incentivizes innovation. It is imperative to integrate technology into the classroom, and BCT Life-Long Learning Solutions facilitates this through knowledge sharing directly from experts,” said Mr. Rahul Bharathan, Vice President, BCT LLS.
Speaking about the partnership with BFP, Rahul added, “Our partnership with BFP Interactive has already brought this initiative to over 280 students in 3 schools in Dubai. It is helping address social-emotional skills and digital literacy with an engaging and hands-on approach. It meets the cross-curricular learning outcomes for students and schools and parents are happy to see their kids’ screen time being used to make meaningful contributions globally. We are thankful for the support provided by the Dubai Police during this project.”
BFP Interactive conducts these workshops with schools globally, where students learn social and emotional skills as well as ethical decision-making through games. BFP has conducted these workshops at other schools in the U.A.E with plans to expand to many more schools in the region.
The rise of cyberbullying has become a major concern for parents in recent years. It can occur on social media, messaging apps, and gaming sites, in some cases causing severe mental, emotional, and physical harm to children. Cyborg Chase aims to help children recognize cyber threats and encourage them to speak out against bullying, promoting a safer online environment by raising awareness.
Anand Ramachandran, Co-Founder at BigFatPhoenix said ” We firmly believe that videogames and interactive storytelling can help kids develop the life skills they need to grow into healthy, happy and responsible adults. It’s been incredible to see our vision come alive in the UAE through our partnership with BCT and schools in the region. Kids are amazing, they always make the world a better place – and we’re happy to help through the fun medium of videogames.’’
Poonam Bhojani, CEO at Innoventures Education said, “At Innoventures Education, we believe in nurturing our young minds to think out of the box, thereby inculcating creativity and critical thinking skills in them from a very young age. Game Designing is a part of our “Incubator” program which supports our students in implementing their ideas. We are proud of the success of our students in having built their own game in line with the theme of anti-bullying.”
Parents can play a vital role in preventing and addressing cyberbullying by educating children on the dangers of cyberbullying, encouraging open communication, and teaching them how to safeguard their information online. In case of severe incidents, reporting it to the appropriate authorities is the recommended solution.
Cyborg Chase is now available to play on the Google Play Store and App Store in the Fairside Stories App.