Design of a Disinformation Awareness Digital Game


  • Clara Maathuis Open University
  • Frederick Janssens Independent Researcher
  • Ebrahim Rahimi Open University of the Netherlands



Disinformation, Misinformation, Cyber security awareness, Social media, Game-Based learning


Social media is the digital canvas where users’ thoughts, ideas, and voices converge, and are being brought to the world. It is the environment where individuals and groups are connected and empowered in ways that were previously unimaginable. Nonetheless, the users are exposed and engage without knowledge or willingly to various social media manipulation mechanisms like disinformation and misinformation which have the potential to influence their believes, behaviour, and attitudes. Although social media represents a valuable arena for connectivity and expressivity to the younger generation, it also poses risks like access to sensitive information and exposure to altered or false narrative and misleading content which can shape young minds in ways that are detrimental to critical thinking and overall well-being. To combat these, it is crucial for families and teachers as well as the educational system to promote security awareness, digital literacy, and critical thinking to high school students. Since research and practitioner initiatives and programs are in an incipient phase to tackle such threats, this research aims to design a digital game for security awareness regarding broken authentication and social bots to high school students. To achieve this objective, a transdisciplinary approach is considered by merging methods from cyber security awareness, social media manipulation, software engineering, game-based learning, and computer science education domains using the Design Science Research methodology. This research strives to contribute to building responsible efforts that bring and/or strengthen awareness and resilience to social media security threats of adolescents to assure a safe digital domain.