As the focal point in a larger project titled “Be Internet Awesome” that dives into online etiquette, the game Interland teaches children important practices for Internet safety. Created by Google and experience design company North Kingdom, Interland immerses children in a fun environment comprised of four different levels: kids can play a platformer game and stop cyberbullies by spreading kindness; cross a river and avoid a phisher; race a hacker to collect letters, numbers and symbols to create a strong password; and solve puzzles in order to ensure they don’t share media with an “oversharer.” Designed with accessibility in mind, the games are free to access and function equally on desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
North Kingdom and Google took special care to ensure that Interland’s minigames would be accesible to all children, regardless of learning ability. “The games had to be casual, fun and playable without much training, and that meant that we had to treat the games as ‘thought starters’, instead of trying to explain complex problems in the games,” says Daniel Isaakson, North Kingdom’s tech director. “We wanted the games to work without too many instructions, since we know most people—including children—skip that, and we wanted to reduce the amount of text since the level of reading can differ.” The final design opts to use varied story context to explain the concept as well as each game’s rules, and a mix of copy and voiceover content helps illustrate concepts simply and elegantly.