RomeVideoGameLab: are videogames ready to enter schools?

Il gaming come forma di didattica? Ecco il progetto presentato al RomeVideoGameLab thumbnail

Playing in the classroom might even be recommended. This and much more was discussed during the RomeVideoGameLab: a videogame to learn cybersecurity was presented in this regard.

RomeVideoGameLab: Nabbovaldo educational game and cyberspace blackmail presented

On the occasion of the RomeVideoGameLab the educational video game was presented “Nabbovaldo and blackmail from cyberspace”. The title, designed to bring pupils between 11 and 13 years old closer to cybersecurity issues, aims to improve behavior in the use of the Internet. An interactive adventure, to be played in the classroom. Video games therefore find their place in classrooms, no longer as a distraction, but rather an extremely useful educational support.

The project is part of the new initiative of the Registry’s Ludoteca, which wants to spread the culture of the internet among the younger generations. The Playroom is a project of the Registry.it, – the body which, within the Institute of Informatics and Telematics of the National Research Council of Pisa, has been assigning and managing Italian-registered domains for over thirty years. Environments, maps, dialogues, multiple scenarios are the contents – validated by CNR researchers – at the basis of the videogame. This aims to deepen, among children and young people, knowledge related to the Web and online safety.

Nabbovaldo and blackmail from cyberspace is a real thing teaching tool for teachers and as a learning tool for students. Through the typical modalities of the videogame, in fact, it aims to teach, in an ironic and unusual way, computer terms, basic notions and correct behaviors for surfing. The “Nabbopedia” section also provides a mini-dictionary with the definitions of some technical terms such as Trojan, Firewall, Adware, Antivirus, Troll, Ransomware, Scandisk and Spyware. The game, which can be used both individually and while taking lessons and workshops, generates a final score that highlights the user’s knowledge of the dangers of the Internet, with a special focus on social networks, viruses, online scams, file sharing and netiquette.

Nabbovaldo and blackmail from cyberspace: trailer e download

The game, developed in collaboration with Symmaceo and Grifo Multimedia, is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The title is inspired by the cartoon “Nabbovaldo against zombie PCs”, in the “Comics & Science” series published by Cnr, where the protagonist, a teenager who is always online but naive in dealing with the dangers of cyberspace, moves to the Internet city, the city of the Network.

As can be seen from the trailer, the video game tells of Nabbo, a handyman by profession, involved in an adventure centered around a Ramsomware (a malware that extorts money) which will keep the entire city in check and will have to investigate looking for a solution.

Finally, a guide for parents and teachers and training for teachers is provided to disseminate videogames in Italian schools. The game, in fact, in addition to the “single-player” mode, it includes a Windows and MacOS desktop version for educational use in the classroom. The methodology proposed by the Registry’s Ludoteca will also be that of “flipped classroom”, that is the moment of confrontation in the classroom as a basis for active and collaborative learning, but also with the involvement of high school students in the role of “tutor” for the pupils of lower-level schools.