UNSW Releases a Cybersecurity Education Game App

December 6, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Recently, a mobile app development team at the University of New South Wales developed an app that helps educate students about cybersecurity. The game, dubbed “ALICE,” an acronym for Artificial Learning Intelligence for Centralized Education, has a 1980s retro arcade flair. It takes players through various cybersecurity scenarios to recover their stolen identity.

The Ingenuity of ALICE

In the game, you find your way through “the network,” use logic and critical thinking to outsmart evil viruses, fight malware, and set up a defense against phishing attacks on their social media accounts. You have an assistant throughout the game – an artificial intelligence system built specifically for centralized education (our aforementioned ALICE).

The Sydney, Australia-based team consists of students, employees, and alumni. UNSW IT Business Analyst and game development analyst Kamer Nizamdeen said the app was developed to increase awareness of the most common cybersecurity threats to today’s students. “As we spend more and more time online, our digital footprint and online presence relate directly to our personal identity. If it’s not carefully protected, we can be left vulnerable and open to theft,” Nizamdeen said.

The Gamification of Education

The programming of the game is based on gamification theory, which makes educational products fun for consumers as players. ALICE launched on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store in November. It’s free to play, and it’ll be a major feature of Orientation Week in February 2018.

“We went from a small room in the Scientia Gallery on campus to a creative design studio in Surry Hills where the story, characters, and gameplay were further fleshed out,” Nizamdeen said. “The app has been developed on the Unity platform which our student team had the opportunity to experiment with.”

Cybersecurity is a pervasive threat that’s only growing as technology becomes more sophisticated. Frankly, it’s awesome to see someone besides a mobile app developer in San Francisco taking initiative in teaching children about this. ALICE is a game that’s both fun and educational, and we love the idea of students learning about cybersecurity early on. Rock on, UNSW!

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