Designing an Interactive Game for Preventing Online Child Abuse in Namibia

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Namibia University of Science and Technology


In the wake of digitalisation, technology has changed the world, connecting people with information and services at the touch of a finger. Regular Internet access, smartphones and other technological advances have made the world a global village by bringing people from various geographical locations together. Despite the positive changes, the pace and scale of this technological revolution have created space for nefarious actors. Identity theft, data breaches, fake news, phishing and hacking are among the many dangers many people face online. Namibia has been grappling with issues centering on cyber security education, policy and lack of online safety awareness. In recent years, Namibia has experienced cybercrime, money laundering and child abuse initiated on the online platform. As such, this study developed an interactive video game to teach online safety in Namibia to combat online child abuse. An online survey, game design challenge workshops, and focus groups were used to gather information. A total of 84 relevant stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, and game developers) participated in two game design challenge workshops and alpha and beta testing sessions. These workshops followed a solid co-design practice. We designed and developed two Namibian inspired game prototypes that were combined into one game which was implemented and tested during this study. All the game prototypes followed an iterative process of information gathering and sharing stories of online inappropriate behaviours, drawing storyboards, designing wireframes, and testing with cognitive walkthroughs and a think-aloud protocol, alpha and beta testing. The final game is called Onlinicus- Share your Story versioned in 2D and 3D respectively. The uniqueness of this game comes from the scenario design as the game concept is entirely story based. The use of predefined personas and utilising participants’ own stories contributed to the richness of the stories and games developed.



Internet, Online child abuse, Online safety, Co-design, games


Muntuumo, J. (2018). Designing an Interactive Game for Preventing Online Child Abuse in Namibia. (Unpublished masters thesis). Windhoek: Namibia University of Science and Technology.