Ten free-to-use (browser-based and downloadable) games that support the development of media literacy, participatory culture and digital skills in and out of the classroom. For best results, play together and discuss challenges, approaches and results during and right after the game. Enjoy while learning and learn while playing.
1Fake it to Make it
Fake it to Make it is an online strategy in which you become a media mogul. The game shows how easy it is to falsify information with the purpose of financial profit. Fake it to Make was created by the American web designer Amanda Warner. It is in English, and it is publically available to present or use, inside or outside of a classroom.
Interland is an online adventure that puts the key lessons of digital safety into hands-on practise with four challenging games. It is part of Google’s Be Internet Awesome program that teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence. While entertaining themselves in Interland kids will help their fellow Internauts combat badly behaved hackers, phishers, oversharers, and bullies by practising the skills they need to be good digital citizens. In the game, players explore four floating islands: Kind Kingdom, Reality River, Mindful Mountain, and Tower of Treasure. Each island features a different mini-game with a different Internet lesson. In 2019 edition of Be Internet Awesome, six new media literacy activities were added to help kids analyze and evaluate media as they navigate the Internet.
NewsFeed Defenders is a fascinating online game that engages players with the standards of journalism, showing you how to spot a variety of methods behind the viral deception we all face today. Players (the game is rated PEGI 3, but is most suitable for students in the high school) join a fictional social media site focused on news and information, and meet the challenge to level up from guest user to site curator. They can achieve this goal only by spotting dubious posts that try to sneak in hidden ads, viral deception, and false reporting. In addition to maintaining a high-quality site, players are charged with growing traffic while keeping the posts on topic. NewsFeed Defenders is a collaborative project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center, home of FactCheck.org and Annenberg Classroom, and iCivics, the education non-profit founded by Sandra Day O’Connor. Besides the browser-based version, there is a mobile one too.
Bad News is a simulation game that was created by the Dutch organization DROG working against the spread of disinformation, in collaboration with researchers at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The Bad News Game confers resistance against disinformation by putting players in the position of the people who create it, and as such gain insight into the various tactics and methods used by ‘real’ fake news-mongers to spread their message. This, in turn, builds up resistance. One can see this as giving people a kind of “vaccine” against misleading information. If you can recognize it, you can resist it.
Developed by the Network Science Institute at the University of Indiana, Fakey allows players to log in to their own Facebook or Twitter account and then prompts them to react to posts on their feed by choosing from “Share,” “Like,” or “Fact-check”. After they click one of these, they find out whether the article came from a mainstream source or a clickbait source. Depending on the players’ ability to spot bogus stories, their “skill” rating increases or decreases.
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in schools and other educational institutions. Its games, “Kahoots”, are user-generated multiple-choice quizzes and can be accessed via a web browser or smart device (via the Kahoot app). There are many quizzes on the topic of media literacy, e.g. the series, created by Britannica: Part 1: What is it, Part 2: Evaluating Sources, Part 3: Fact-checking. Here you can watch a video tutorial by the University of Manchester on how to create a Kahoot! quiz.
7Beyond The Headlines
Beyond The Headlines – The Online News Verification Game is an online news verification game, developed by EAVI - a non-profit organization based in Brussels. The mission of EAVI is to empower individuals to be active, engaged citizens in today’s increasingly challenging media environment. Beyond the Headlines game can be used in unison with EAVI’s Beyond Fake News infographic and the 5 Media Concepts and Questions. Students can use all three tools to write a report about the content they are given or have chosen themselves.
Mobile apps educating on digital and media literacy, released by the European Union
Happy onlife is a game for children and adults, aimed at raising awareness of the risks and opportunities of the Internet and promoting the best online practices. The game supports parents and teachers in their active mediation in the use of digital technologies with children aged between 8 and 12. Happy Onlife presents key messages about children use, overuse, and misuse risks of digital media such as cyber-bullying, as well as simple and clear activities and strategies of prevention, mediation or remediation. Happy Onlife was carried out in support of the European Agenda for the Rights of the Children and the Strategy for a Better Internet for Kids, which are part of the work programme of DG CNET (European Commission).
Cyber Chronix is a game raising awareness on privacy risks and data protection rights in the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulation is an essential step to strengthen individuals’ fundamental rights in the digital age. Still, users need to know and understand their rights and how GDPR empowers them.
Made in BG
The Poppals are digital educational games that help students learn to work in a team and develop attitudes towards care. Two new games dedicated to the leading online risks for children online were designed especially for the Media Literacy Days 2020 and premiered in a school tournament.