On the occasion of the 19th annual global Safer Internet Day celebrated today, Microsoft wants to empower children, parents, caregivers and educators with resources to help them understand online safety and how to be responsible digital citizens. Minecraft: Education Edition has created a new immersive world, CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm that is designed to help young people learn to recognize common threats on the Internet, build strategies for protecting themselves and their information, and know where to go if they need help. It’s a fun way for students to learn about online safety while playing in their favorite blocky universe!.
CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm is a fun and creative introduction to cyber safety for children aged 7-12. It’s available for free to all Minecraft: Education Edition users. The name “CyberSafe: Home Sweet Hmm” comes from the familiar sound of Minecraft’s iconic Villagers, who don’t speak but rather grunt “hmm.” In the CyberSafe adventure, this sound also represents the act of pausing to think about how to navigate the Internet safely.
The single-player lesson provides Internet safety scenarios to help children make informed decisions by focusing on one guiding principle: Stop and think before you click. The adventure will be available in the Education Collection of the Minecraft Marketplace in March.
Players begin the game in their virtual home, where they’ll meet the Trusted Adult, a non-player character (NPC) that acts as a guide through the game. From there, players progress through four pillars of cyber safety, from verifying their contacts’ identities and protecting their passwords to phishing prevention and avoiding scams. CyberSafe features four challenges:Want to play online with me?; Online maze? I can complete it!; New emerald armor?! Definitely!; Yummy! Pumpkin pie!.
In each of these scenarios, players not only have the chance to make decisions about the right or wrong course of action, but also learn to seek advice from their Trusted Adult. These challenges teach the player how to practice thinking before they click and reinforce that they can rely on the support of a trusted adult (a parent, caregiver or other adult they trust) to guide them safely through life on the Internet. The challenges also encourage conversations between the player and their trusted adult so they can learn, grow, and play together.
Once players have completed the game, they’ll have an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve learned.