Be careful though, because the Zombies are powerful enough to turn you into a Zombie even over the Internet.—Will Smith, zombie-killing expert, CPSC 183 final project
For our project, we created a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style learning course to teach about internet safety for younger generations and hosted it on a website. The site visitor is cast in the role of a high school secret agent attempting to hold off a zombie apocalypse. He or she must make a series of correct choices, which teach various lessons: password safety, login/logout basics, cyber-stranger danger, spam smarts, and spotting phishing. After making a wrong decision, the user is infected and becomes a zombie, joining the ranks of the rest of his generation (who unthinkingly act unsafely on the web all the time). We hope that the spy/ zombie storyline will help our target audience internalize the importance of using caution online.
The necessity for a game/course like this one lies in the fact that today’s moment is one dominated by the Internet. Websites like PleaseRobMe.com remind us just how reckless we’re becoming online―and in a society where young children often have access to the Internet, it’s imperative to educate them on the right way to use it. Our “zombie apocalypse game” is a logical extension of the stranger-danger videos shown in elementary schools in the 1990’s.
We threw in a few CPSC 183 jokes, which would be removed if the video was sent to a broader audience. Without further ado, give it a try! Are you savvy enough to avoid being infected by the power-hungry zombies?