Two Asian women are playing a game on their mobile phones and they looked amused

Online Training Game

This week’s been a whirlwind of activity. We’re wrapping up the first phase of our cyber security project. We’ve created a brand new online game to train people about how to be safe online.

Online training game

We’ve had an intern working with us for the past five months coding our online training game with us. The game is coded from scratch using our research, drawing on behavioural sciences.

We’re wrapping up the current phase of user testing. Previously, there have been other user testing to help during design sprints. There was another set of user testing at an earlier phase of the game. This time, we’ve user tested with a few teams, on their enjoyment and understanding of the game, as well as suggestions on how to improve the game. We’ve been working closely with the disability group representing all of the staff in our organisation, and they gave us a lot of valuable advice about how to make the game more accessible.

The game involves a character providing instructions on how to play the game, as well as other education on how to spot and report cyber security attacks.

There are multiple levels to the game, and we’ve incorporated behavioural principles, including personalisation, to make the game an immersive experience.

I wrote the script for the game, and it was then co-designed with stakeholders, and finessed by other team members. I wrote in little Easter eggs throughout the game to say thanks to our team, by peppering our team members’ names throughout the game. I’ve also incorporated names of 1990s rock stars, Aboriginal artists and writers, and other non-Inndigenous Australian artists.

The training game provides timely feedback and incentives for staff to apply lessons from the training as part of game play. There are rewards and punishments to incentivise correct behaviours in the game (correctly reporting threats).

There are a few other features in the game that are only possible because a sociologist woman of of colour (me) has designed the game.

  • The fact that we collaborated with disabled staff to plan, design and test the game.
  • The key character providing instructions is a Brown woman
  • The character representing the player is non-gendered and not racialised; they are in a suit, so you can’t assume their gender and race.
  • All of the characters that appear in the game different people have different racial minority backgrounds.

Because our intern is finishing up this week, she gave us a tutorial on the software that she’s been using to manage the data from the game.


We had an online send off for our intern. We’ve sent her a gift and a card from the team. I designed the card, so it is characteristically quirky and sentimental!

Our project team would play a five-minute game together at the start of our weekly meeting. So the card incorporates pictures of old computer games.

As part of the send-off, we played a game I put together from Twitter and TikTok posts; “explain a film plot badly.” I’ll do a follow-up post with some of the games that our team has played. I know all too well how tough it is to come up with fun ways to engage virtual teams!


Other work this week has been to prepare for a series of meetings that we’ve got coming up with executives to approve the next phase of our projects.

There’s been a heap of work following up with I.T. services and exploring other technology issues for the next phase of our online training game production.


Life wise, I’ve been doing a whole bunch of rehabilitation for my injured knee. It’s going to take two-to-three months of rehab to get it working properly. I’ve changed the way I work to support healing. I have a longer break scheduled in the middle of the day where I go for a walk. I stretch regularly, and I use digital remiders to do my rehab exercises.

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