Brick by brick, LEGO bids to improve children’s online mental heath

LEGO Group has teamed with the DQ Institute to produce an online experience helping young people explore such issues as cyber-bullying and online mobs

The LEGO Group has joined up with a digital citizenship think tank to help improve children’s safety and skill set in the online world.

Together with the DQ Institute (DQI), the toy company has produced an interactive experience to help young people explore what digital empathy means and understand why it’s so important.

The initiative was launched on Safer Internet Day (9 February), in a year the event assumed particular pertinence with children spending more time online than ever due to lockdowns.

“This year is incredibly important for drawing attention to these issues, especially with 45% of children aged between eight- and 12-years-old reporting having been affected by cyber-bulling in the past,” said Kathrine Kirk Muff, Lego’s VP of social responsibility.

“At the LEGO Group, we know children learn best when they are playing, and believe we are uniquely placed to help them explore important topics like digital empathy in a playful and memorable way.”

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The new initiative is based on the DQI’s DQ (Digital Intelligence) framework, launched last year and styled as the ‘world’s first global standard related to digital literacy, digital skills, and digital readiness’.

Users will meet a variety of Lego mini-figures, each presenting a dilemma that may be encountered in the digital world – such as cyber-bullying, online mobs, or the spreading of disinformation – in easy-to-understand fashion.

Based on their responses, children will be awarded with an online empathy hero status.

“We share a common vision with the LEGO Group to empower children to be good digital citizens who can minimise cyber-risks and maximise their potential in the digital world,” said DQI founder, Yuhyun Park.

“That’s why we’re so pleased to be working with the LEGO Group, since they are experts in communicating with children. We hope that the playful experience we design together will help to empower children to make the internet a better place for them in the future.”

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