01 Jun USC’s Orbit Rescue: Engagement for Child Safety
Orbit Rescue is a space-themed online game that provides children aged 8-10 years with strategies to avoid sexual abuse. It was developed at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Engage Research Lab, and is an interactive and educational game designed to enable children to recognise predatory behaviour in an ever-changing online world. Orbit Rescue (2017) is the latest iteration of the Orbit game, which was a multi-partner research project that commenced in 2008. The Orbit computer game was first launched by Bruce and Denise Morcombe on the national Day for Daniel in October 2013.
Orbit Rescue takes a positive and practical evidence-based approach to child sexual abuse prevention. In a non-threatening way, it teaches children to recognise predatory behaviour from adults they know, or an unidentified “friend” they frequently chat with online. The game helps children to build a healthy self-concept, and illustrates safety strategies like reporting.
Orbit was created through the Engage Research Lab, which partners with local, national and international collaborators to develop tech-based solutions around social issues. Building computer games, apps, and other interactive experiences, the Engage Lab brings together researchers from multiple disciplines including: health, social sciences, planning, art and design, information technology, game design, education, engineering and business – for problem solving that is creative and collaborative.
Leading USC’s Engage Research team, Professor Christian Jones has created the Orbit games, a multi-stakeholder partnership funded through the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Queensland Police Service, and the Telstra Foundation. Other key partners include Education Queensland, the Department of Child Safety, and the Sunshine Cooloola Service Against Sexual Violence Inc.
For details about Orbit Rescue and other child safety educational resources, including Being Safety Smart (utilised globally, and also created by USC), go to www.danielmorcombe.com.au