Being Safety Smart is an online, social issue game designed to mitigate increasing child abduction rates in Australia. By teaching young children skills and strategies to help protect themselves, the game empowers children with the ability and confidence to act appropriately and decisively. This paper reports on the collaborative research and development of Being Safety Smart, bringing together global best practice in child protection and computer game design to create an educational resource targeted to children aged 6 to 8. The anti-abduction messages and strategies were developed in partnerships with Australian government departments of the Queensland Police Service, the Crime and Misconduct Commission, the Department of Communities (Child Safety Services) and Education Queensland. The gaming environment is aligned to age and gender specific learning capabilities of children and is based on eight key features associated with children’s acquisition and retention of protective behaviour concepts and skills. Results of a successful evaluation of the program with schools are presented. Being Safety Smart received the 2009 Queensland Police Service gold award for excellence in crime prevention.and is being used in over 200 schools across Australia.
Author and article information
Christian Martyn Jones
University of the Sunshine Coast
Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia