The NSPCC has teamed up with e-learning provider Fuel for What If..? - the first multimedia game for child therapeutic practitioners to help children understand how to stay safe in potentially risky situations.
What If..? is played on a PC but follows the style of a board game, and is intended to be played by a practitioner and child together. As children progress through the game they come across a range of challenges, including What if...? cards.
The cards present various scenarios - such as being asked to give out details in an internet chat room, or whether to stay at a neighbour's house if their parents are not at home - and encourage children to think about what they would do.
NSPCC head of child protection learning resources William Baginsky said: "What If..? presents a fun, safe environment where a child, together with a practitioner, can explore potentially difficult situations.
"It's vital that all children know when they need to ask for help and who to turn to, and trained professionals can use What if...? to help children develop the skills they need to stay safe in their day-to-day lives.
"There are no winners and losers in What If..? but children are rewarded with a token - a green full stop - for each of the situations they consider. And at the end of the game the child can print a certificate, which they can keep to mark their participation in the game."
A range of subjects and scenarios are included in the game including staying safe on the internet, anger-provoking situations, being in care, drugs and alcohol, and bullying. Practitioners can also create their own scenarios to suit the needs of particular children they are working with.
Fuel's Co-Founder Chris Campbell said: "What If...? blends traditional education - the board game format - with advanced online multimedia, both of which children are familiar with and enjoy. Practitioners themselves will find the game intuitive to use, and supportive to their facilitation of the child's learning experience."