Learning Digital Literacy Through Video Games

LevelUp Time
5 min readMar 11, 2021

Today we’re taking a look at Interland. Interland is this really neat game developed by Google that teaches kids about the foundations of media literacy. The game uses these kind of 3d polygon character and environmental styles, which is actually a big plus.

I say this because by doing this, they’re skipping out on the childish graphics, which helps. Widen the audience of the game. I would say the game is definitely appropriate for ages five to 12, but before we get into any other detail, let’s talk about what media literacy actually is. Media literacy is a vague term for digital citizenship as usually of the internet.

We are each granted digital citizenship, and must understand one of them being that our morals don’t get thrown out the window. When we go online, we must carry kindness and respect. Or others online as well as offline. Another is understanding how to keep ourselves safe and secure online. These are concepts that Interline covers media literacy encompasses so much more.

And if you’d like to know more about it, feel free to check out my ongoing series called media literacy corner, which I will link to the end of this video. So what are you going to learn? What are the kids going to learn playing this game? The game has broken off into four different areas, which are tower of treasure kind, kingdom, reality river, and mindful mountain.

So let’s talk about the concepts learned in each area. Tower of treasure represents our online accounts. This area helps users identify what needs to be kept secure online. How to keep our personal data safe and how to create a strong password. This area of the game has players recollect their misplace personal info, like cell numbers, their ID emails, et cetera, and store them within treasure tower.

However, hackers have followed us to the tower and the player is tasked with creating strong passwords to defend said, tower. This is a fundamental concept that needs to be learned. I know some adults that don’t actually understand what makes a strong password password. Should it be at least. Eight characters long and contain uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters.

I’ve actually heard that passwords that have the largest strength are ones that are 64 characters long, but that’s a talk for another episode. Next up we have the kind kingdom. This is where kids are taught that they should be helping to spread positivity online, positivity and kindness. Goes a long way.

It also teaches the concepts speaking out against online bullying and hate speech by confronting it and reporting it to the appropriate people. This is a valuable concept that kids should learn as sometimes with online bullying. We don’t know anything is actually happening until it’s too reality.

River is a gray area thinking challenge where kids are tasked with understanding how to examine emails, to make sure they’re from real people and to never respond to requests for personal information via email. And these are the basics of understanding. Phishing and how to report it. Spotting the signs of potential scams, knowing how to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s fake.

Now, what I like about this section is that it actually uses words, world examples, like creating big accounts to prank friends, fellow gamers, trying to scam each other, or even scammers trying to collect. Personal info from people last up is mindful mountain. This is actually the hardest segment of the game and it’s puzzle based.

This section aims, teach kids how to thoughtfully, consider what you share and with whom pause and keep extra sensitive information to yourself. Understanding the power and consequences that come along with sharing the section release. Stops to make you think about what you should be sharing online and with whom you should actually be sharing information with.

Let me talk to the educators in the room, watching and listening to this right now. This game has tests, certifications of completion built into it. These tests are really just small quizzes or rather questionnaires that come at the end of each section in order to test the player or student’s retention of the information and rewards them.

But with a certificate of completion at the end, the game is. Fairly short. So if you’re teaching students about media literacy, I would actually suggest breaking off each segment to correspond with your lesson plan. However, for the parents, maybe this is something you want your kid to play on their own.

The certificates of completion are a great way to show off their knowledge. And who knows, you might have been playing this game with your kids. Now I have some final words about this. All in all Interline is a great game for helping younger students understand the fundamental concepts of digital citizenship and media literacy.

What I didn’t like about this game is that it’s fairly short. I beat it in under an hour. Which is why I advise that educators should maybe break up the game into sections that go along with their lesson plan or the other thing I didn’t like is that there’s no save function to the game. This can be problematic because if you complete one segment and leave for rather close your browser, it’s not going to record your final total score at the end.

Last thing that I did not like about it is that in the last segment of mindful mountain, it actually talks about things that you shouldn’t share with your parents, which. For some parents that may actually turn you off there, there’s, there’s some information about like planning a party with your friends.

And it really depends on who this game is aimed at, because if it’s for a younger audience, if Google intended this for a way younger audience, like five to six to seven, like it kind of is giving off the impression that you’re teaching kids to not really tell your parents. Um, about activities that you’re doing with your friends thing.

And it’s like, that’s kind of, it’s kind of a weird thing to portray in a kid’s game. Um, so that’s also something that if you do let your kids play this game, I mean, they should, because it teaches a lot of valuable concepts. That’s something that you should talk about. Other than that, I think the game is worth playing as I.

And using in an educational setting, it represents fundamental knowledge or other know-how that some adults aren’t even savvy to right now. And again, this is a game that you’re definitely because of the language or some of the language, but how some things are worded. Um, Some of the challenges. There’s a game that you’re definitely going to want to take a look at, and you’re going to want to maybe explain somethings to your kids.

But other than that, if you want to know more about media literacy, make sure to hit that subscribe button, check out my playlist media literacy corner. There’ll be more videos coming to that playlist soon. And don’t forget, drop a, like drop a comment, show some love, and I’ll see you all next time.




LevelUp Time

EdTech Coach, Instructional Designer, and Digital Creator