What started as a cybersecurity awareness service for corporations and employees soon grew into a whimsical, imaginative, and interactive game made for those most vulnerable in online spaces, children. Co-Founders of Cyber Legends, Farzin Habib Pour, Jared Rietdyk, David Brebner and James Hayes, had put their time and energy into creating a service for training employees at the corporate level about cyber security. The founders soon realized that the businesses were not gaining the experience intended from the course, and they reconvened to understand the bigger picture of the online fight they were facing. Realizing that the most vulnerable people online are kids and elderly folks, they honed in on a focus that is bound to be game-changing for young learners in our future. Long-term consequences in children facing cyber safety threats were notable, leading to unfathomable outcomes including cyber bullying, extortion, and human trafficking. “Every Cyber Legends Founder has been affected by cyberbullying or online abuse in some way, which was the catalyst for the pivot in our intentions”, says Habib Pour. With a new and profound focus on protecting today’s kids from cyber criminals, Cyber Legends was constructed and molded into an extraordinary learning tool — and super fun game — for the children of our future.
Cyber Legends is an AI driven open world game that teaches children in grades 1 to 8 cyber safety and coding. Its cross-curricular solution aligns with a teacher curated and approved curriculum for classroom lessons as well as at-home play. The game feeds learning points that are aligned with the Ontario curriculum to seamlessly integrate into the landscape of teaching. The gameplay then assesses the kids based on their competencies and points out the areas of their online behavior that are most at risk. With ready to use teaching resources available now and the game Alpha release set to launch on December 1st, teachers in classrooms anywhere can already begin teaching intentional and integral lessons on cyber safety. The game itself is an interactive, open-world game and educational tool that allows them to play through a whimsical world of community-centric quests that focus on teaching lessons in cyber safety — but the kids won’t really know it. With an in-game “cell phone” tool that guides their quests and a helper bot available when things get hard, kids can play through this magical world, watering their flowers and meeting with friends, all while taking home important lessons in cyber safety and anti-bullying. “The unfortunate reality is that online abuse doesn’t discriminate, and teachers aren’t given curriculum content to teach cyber safety properly”, says Cheryl Hayes, Director of Growth at Cyber Legends, “We’ve created these resources because teachers need access to constantly updated information so that students at every learning level can understand what cyber safety looks like in a real and conceptual way”.
Having tested the curriculum in schools across Niagara region, Cyber Legends has created a dashboard for teachers to access resources, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, and parental engagement letters that allow parents to continue the conversation at home. With topics such as personal information, password protection, and even sexual health and inappropriate online content (optional), teachers are given a launchpad for a successful and resource-fueled learning experience. The program also provides a similar curriculum in coding, with gameplay aspects of automation and kid-friendly coding lessons. “We are giving teachers a full solution to teach cyber safety in the classroom”, says Habib Pour, “The lesson plans are available to teach concepts in depth and curate further discussions, and they can be used with or without the gameplay”. The absolute best part of this solution is that it is completely free for all educators and students, allowing every kid to have access to learning the harms and benefits of life online.
More importantly, this game offers competency-based data to ensure that kids playing along or learning through the curriculum are actively retaining and using the tools that they are given to be safe in their online worlds. Considering that children raised alongside technology will not automatically understand the safety implications of online interactions, Cyber Legends lets kids take their cyber safety knowledge on an adventure and collects data for parents and educators to ensure that their children are navigating cyberspace safely.
As children learn through storytelling, Cyber Legends sets itself apart from other education games by heavily considering the learning experience of children alongside technology. Being a cloud-based program, the curriculum and in-game learning points will evolve as the ever-changing landscape of the online world continues to fluctuate, ensuring relevant learnings that reflect real-world issues. When the final version of the game officially launches on February 22nd, 2022, upgrades will be made available for parents to purchase allowing further rewards and accelerated gameplay. With these paid portions of the game, parents and guardians can also sponsor another child, paying a small fee to allow for an additional child in need of financial help and cyber safety education a chance to access the game in full. This sponsorship opportunity only further perpetuates the community and care-based thinking that went into every step of creating Cyber Legends. The interconnected world of technology, community, education, and safety is intelligently integrated into gameplay, curriculum, and the true values of the team behind Cyber Legends.
As a current GROW Accelerator participant, Cyber Legends is set to continue their rapid expansion and epic creation alongside other founders and innovators learning from growth coaches and TechAlliance venture growth advisors. Their participation in GROW Accelerator will allow for their impactful intentions and revolutionary education to be amplified within the Southwestern Ontario innovation economy and be supported through our community of founders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. With a mission to provide free and accessible education that protects children, Cyber Legends’ recent launch for educators and upcoming launch for all is a hopeful step towards the safety of our future generations. An important lesson that we can all learn from Cyber Legends is to put our time and energy into the safety and education of the kids of today, tomorrow, and beyond. Adults – you can also play the game, even if it’s just for fun.
Access Cyber Legends teaching resources & sign up to be notified when the game is available here.