With the proliferation of digital media, internet penetration, and mobile technologies, young people spend more time on the web. Online social networks have become an integral part of their lives, where they can chat with their friends and catch up with everything that is going on in their social circles. One could argue that social media and the Internet for them has grown into something more than simply a tool, but it has become an extension of their social lives and public identities.
However, as valuable as the Internet or social networks may be for their socialization, they also expose them to a new type of harassment. This online harassment is called cyber-bullying, and it can take several forms such as mockery, insults, threats, rumours, gossip, disagreeable comments, among others. Unfortunately, cyber-bullying may be in binary code at some data centre, but its toll is hard on the health and well-being of the young people who fall victims.
ACBC was an ambitious Erasmus+ funded European Project created to put an end to cyber-bullying through various project outputs that the partners worked on tirelessly. As its finalization period is fast approaching, let us have a deeper look at ACBC Project and the legacy it leaves behind.
A Few Words About the Project
The implementation of ACBC began in November 2018, and it is being finalized at the end of April 2021. The project’s objective was to actively involve youth in a modern way to truly engage them on the topic of online behaviour to prevent cyber-bullying.
The consortium of the European project consisted of 8 European partners from different geographic locations across Europe:
- Direcţia Generală de Asistenţă Socială şi Protecţia Copilului Harghita – Coordinator, Romania
- Fundatia Centrul Educational Spektrum – Partner, Romania
- Stichting Incubator – Partner, Netherlands
- 8D Games – Partner, Netherlands
- European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute (ESEISI) – Partner, Lithuania
- BRIDGING TO THE FUTURE LTD – Partner, Great Britain
- C4G – Consulting and Training Network – Partner, Portugal
- Institute of Entrepreneurship Development – iED – Partner, Greece
As putting an end to cyber-bullying requires something more than good intentions, the project consortium proceeded to create concrete outputs that will continue to contribute to society long after ACBC switch is turned off.
Project Outputs to Put and End to Cyber-Bullying
To introduce young people to the phenomenon of cyber-bullying and raise awareness about the impact and its consequences, the project consortium created three intellectual outputs to support this cause.
- The first Intellectual Output (IO1) was the design of the Regional Partnerships – Blueprint. In essence, this blueprint is a practical guide on “How to establish Regional Partnerships on Online Media Awareness” with all the accumulated knowledge throughout the project implementation. This is a helpful guide for organizations from European regions other than that of the participating organizations wishing to set up an integrated regional network of relevant stakeholders to enhance online media awareness.
- The second and most crucial Intellectual Output (IO2) was developing the serious game “ACBC” by the 8D Games project partner. It is a serious game for young people to create an online conscious community to put an end to cyber-bullying and raise online awareness. This game focuses on young people between 13-18 years old and is available for download for iOS and Android users.
- Finally, the last Intellectual Output (IO3) is the creation of the user guide. This guide is a step-by-step guide on how schools and organizations can implement the ACBC serious game in their practices. This guide will allow external organizations who were not involved in the process of the ACBC development to understand the philosophy behind this serious game. Additionally, this guide will also have special sections to inform on the concept of serious gaming.
As ACBC project is approaching its final stages of implementation, iED would like to extend its gratitude to all project partners involved in implementing this project. As having an impact should be at the core of every European project, we believe that the ACBC project and the homonymous serious game will continue to impact the years ahead. ACBC serious game will remain available to download, and we are optimistic that it will contribute to putting an end to cyber-bullying at last.
You can learn more about ACBC by visiting the official website of the project by clicking here.