The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Cybersecurity Education: a Gamification Approach

Giorgia Bassi, Institute of Informatics and Telematics of CNR (Italy)

Stefania Fabbri, Institute of Informatics and Telematics of CNR (Italy)

Anna Vaccarelli, Institute of Informatics and Telematics of CNR (Italy)


Registro. it is the registry of Italian domain names and works within the CNR-IIT (Institute for Informatics and Telematics of Italian National Research Council). Ludoteca del Registro .it is the educational section aimed at schools (from primary to high level) with the objective to promote a more responsible use of the Internet. Since 2011 the staff of Ludoteca has met more than 16,000 students, all over Italy and beyond. Specifically, the Cybersecurity Labs, launched in 2018, are meant to spread a safer use of the Internet and a knowledge of the main cyber threats, technical countermeasures and best practices. This paper deals with the Ludoteca’s various training and learning tools for cybersecurity education, focusing on the gamification process. Games and videogames are engaging for children, teens, and adults as well and therefore, they are easily welcome as a learning tool in schools. Nowadays, edutainment mostly uses games promoting players’ “problem solving” or “collaborative” skills to face the challenges posed by the game. Even the field of cybersecurity education can therefore benefit from the use of techniques and resources based on edutainment, declined in various forms depending on the category of the learner. Moreover, games create an active learning opportunity that favors awareness processes, as opposed to more traditional passive learning techniques. In the paper, two Ludoteca’s edutainment instruments for cybersecurity education will be presented: the educational event “Cyber Park”, held during the last edition of Internet Festival, and a videogame, called “Nabbovaldo and the cyber blackmail”, both aimed at primary and middle schools’ students. Cyber Park has been conceived as a playful and educational space in which bringing together various resources and tools used to provide children good cybersecurity practices (the so called “cyber hygiene”), such as the “Caesar Cipher” on cryptography, “Password Memory”, “Cyber Quiz” with comics boards about online threats. The second tool is Nabbovaldo videogame, a serious game aimed at children aged 11-14 to improve their knowledge related to the main cyber threats and attacks, and to encourage the adoption of preventing behaviors. It is a single-player game that can be used both in the classroom and by kids on their own and the setting is Internetopoli, a city in which landscapes and characters feature the complexity of the Internet world. 


gamification, game based learning, videogame, serious game, applied game, cybersecurity education



[1] Lauren S. Ferro, A. Marrella, S. V. Veneruso, M. Mecella, T. Catarci: A game based learning experience for improving cybersecurity awareness. Proceeding of
4th Italian Conference on Cyber Security, ITASEC 2020

[2] Bottino R.M., Chioccariello A., Freina L. & Tavella M. (2019) “Digital games in primary schools for the development of key transversal skills”. Proceedings of SUZA2019.


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