Local pupils from Fallin Primary School, near Stirling, teamed up with York Multimedia to design a groundbreaking interactive game that educates children between 8 and 11 on cycling safety.
The game is part of the Crucial Crew Interactive series which features a whole variety of safety issues that children might encounter on a daily basis.
The Primary 7 children took part in a competition for local primary schools organised by Iain Binning, the School Travel Co-ordinator, to design a cycling safety computer game. The children worked independently in teams to design their game and make their storyboard, with Fallin Primary being selected as the winner out of the three schools involved. The members of the winning team were Primary 7 pupils – Chloe, Josh, Terri and Stephen (pictured).
The children's designs were then passed to the team at YMN behind the Crucial Crew project, who collated their ideas and finalised the design based on the original storyboard from the winning team. The children were consulted at all stages of the design process and were required to finalise illustrations and go out into the local community to take photographs which were used to aid the illustrations.
James Houston, creative director of Crucial Crew Interactive, travelled from York up to Stirling to show the Fallin children a prototype of the new game and to finalise details with the children. He said: "It was great to work with such a creative bunch of kids on this exciting project. We have a lot of fun building these safety games, but it''s always much better when the children get actively involved and help to devise the game and the characters.”
The game involves a main character going out on his bike to the shops to get some bread for breakfast. En route he encounters all sorts of hazards, and making the wrong decision can lead to some funny but very gory consequences. Taking lights and a helmet, signalling correctly, locking up a bike securely, and looking carefully for traffic are just some of the issues which the game addresses.
Children are being encouraged to cycle more and more - both to improve their own health and fitness, and to help reduce pollution from cars, but this game helps to make sure they know how do so safely.
The interactive safety games include health, police, electricity, fire, seaside and cycling, and the website is a useful tool for schools and also it can be readily accessed at home with over 30,000 visitors a month.Stirling Council funded this latest addition to the series, focussing on cycling, with support from Sustrans. The involvement of the school children was co-ordinated by the Riverside ICT Learning Centre in Stirling.
The original idea to develop an interactive safety game for children came out of a series of workshops held all over the UK for schoolchildren aged 8-11. At these workshops the children are presented with various dangerous or challenging situations and they engage in role-play exercises in how to deal with these situations.
The Crucial Crew workshops are often followed up in schools, where important safety messages are reinforced. Crucial Crew Interactive is a computer-based version of the real workshops, where children navigate through a game-like environment, where they are presented with a series of choices.
"More and more national bodies, which are concerned with safety, are talking to us about including their safety messages in Crucial Crew Interactive.
“After all, it''s a lot more fun and effective for kids to learn by playing a game, than by listening to someone in the school hall," said James Houston, creative director of Crucial Crew Interactive.
Apart from Fallin Primary’s Cycling Safety game there is also interactive safety games available on the site on Bus Travel, Electricity, Railway, Seaside, Fire, Gas, Roads, Public Emergency and Drink and Drugs.
To play the game visit www.crucial-crew.org/cycling