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BeSeen Mobile Game Promotes Social Network Safety For Children

A joint project between Carnegie Mellon University and non-profit Web Wise Kids seeks to help educate children about the dangers prevalent of social networks through a mobile game interface.
A joint project between Carnegie Mellon University and non-profit Web Wise Kids seeks to help educate children about the dangers prevalent on social networks through a mobile game experience. BeSeen, released earlier this week for iOS devices and coming in December to Android, takes players through a simulated social network, confronting players with situations where "the best decision may not seem like the popular choice," according to a description on the game's web site. The overarching goal is to gather as many friends as possible, but having more friends presents more potential problems and difficulties in being a good friend to your entire network. Players earn awards and badges as they solve puzzles surrounding their virtual friends and provide them with helpful advice. BeSeen was created to help the 56 percent of teens who report being the target of some form of online harassment, and to educate the 55 percent of teens that report giving personal information to strangers on social networks, according to the creators. "For more than a decade, we have been developing resources to equip young people to safely be their own first lines of defense when it comes to smart Internet use,’" Web Wise Kids preisdent Judi Westburg Warren said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have this educational app reach millions of youth in a fun and unique way." The game's creators have provided a set of classroom resources for teachers who want to use the game in their lessons. The CTIA Wireless Foundation, Trend Micro and Verizon also provided support for the game's development.

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