TVOKids.com launches new web game on online safety



    Firewall! tackles cyberbullying, protecting privacy and setting rules
    about computer usage

    TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - With internet safety being a top-of-mind concern
for today's parents, TVOKids.com, one of Canada's most popular online
destination for kids, has launched Firewall!, a unique activity aimed at
teaching 6-9 year olds about safety and proper etiquette online. The game
builds on TVO's commitment to supporting families and helping them address
important issues through TVO's media tools.
    Firewall! was created with the guidance of TVO's in-house educational
adviser and Cathy Wing, co-executive director of the Media Awareness Network
in Ottawa. The game addresses a range of safety issues, such as guarding a
child's privacy and identity, cyberbullying, the trustworthiness of
information on the Web and establishing rules with parents about computer
usage.
    In Firewall!, the computer at the Super Citizens' headquarters - home to
TVOKids' comic-book do-gooder heroes - is under attack from the evil Dr.
Burns, who wants to unleash bugs on the system. To protect the computer, kids
must correctly answer a series of true or false questions about online safety.
Should you reveal whether you're a boy or a girl when chatting online? Can you
give your passwords and e-mail addresses to just anyone? Is it OK to send
"flaming" messages? Can you trust everything you read on the internet? With
each successful answer, a section of the firewall goes up to shield the
computer. The game features 30 questions in all, half of which are presented
through streamed videos.
    "The internet is organic to the lives of today's kids, and they take
advantage of multiple platforms in a way we adults can't comprehend," says
Patricia Ellingson, TVO's creative head of Children's Media Content and
Programming. "Often parents are unaware of their kids' activities. We wanted
to provide a fun activity that kids and parents can play together and use as a
'conversation starter' about how to communicate and behave appropriately when
online."
    She adds, "The internet can sometimes be a cruel and unsafe environment,
with offensive material, bullies and predators. But it can also be a very
positive and powerful tool when used safely. Firewall! equips kids with a few
'intelligent weapons' so they can decode the dangers in the high-tech world
responsibly and confidently. This is gaming with a social conscience."
    To further support the theme of online safety, new TVOKids' Super
Citizens episodes on the topic are also now appearing during the after-school
programming block, The Space. To play Firewall!, visit TVOKids.com.

    About TVOKids.com

    The award-winning TVOKids.com is a trusted web destination for
inquisitive young minds. Winner of the "Most Popular Website" Gemini award in
2001, TVOKids.com is the choice destination for fun and safe online learning.
TVOKids.com has consistently introduced games and activities that are
curriculum-based and fully integrated with longtime TVOKids broadcast
favourites.

    About TVO

    TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires, and
stimulates curiosity and thought. We are committed to empowering people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Angela Garde, (416) 484-2600
ext. 2305, agarde@tvo.org


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