The Game Agency, a division of ELB Learning, is pleased to announce that the game “Who Hacked?”, which was created on behalf of Microsoft, was awarded the distinction of Best Game-Based Project at the Learning Guild’s DevLearn show in October 2022.
Who Hacked? a Learn Cloud Game
Microsoft and The Game Agency crafted an immersive story-based game that challenges security professionals to investigate, remediate, and protect against cybersecurity incidents at an organic produce e-retailer.
In this simulated environment, players take on the role of a security, identity, or compliance professional. They act like detectives, investigating real-world cybersecurity issues and gathering clues and evidence. They complete tasks to uncover the source and impact of each incident and use their skills to implement solutions.
The game includes multiple episodes that can be played separately or bundled together. Players can engage with episodes collaboratively during a facilitator-led event or independently as a solo player experience.
During each episode, players apply what they know to solve real-world problems:
- Animated videos introduce and develop the characters and the story.
- Players investigate a series of leads via hands-on software simulations and mini-games.
- Non-player characters provide feedback and engage players in the story.
- Players log key evidence in a Journal and add their findings to an Evidence Map.
- During multiplayer events, players collaborate on their strategy and share their findings.
- At the end of each episode, players answer critical questions based on the information collected in their Journal and plotted on the Evidence Map.
- Scoring is driven by the paths players take, the items they log in Journal, and the items they add to the Evidence Map.
The game provides a challenging but safe space for players to validate their skills, collaborate with peers and develop their technical expertise. As players see the impacts of their choices, they develop greater proficiency in responding to cybersecurity incidents on the job. They also gain a greater appreciation for other professionals’ roles and the importance of effective communication and collaboration.
Beyond the Game
The game underwent extensive user testing and development to adhere to both WCAG 2.1 and Microsoft’s own accessibility standards. The final game supports users with a wide range of disabilities including vision, mobility, and cognitive issues.
Along with the digital game, The Game Agency’s creative team designed, produced, and shipped a corresponding comic book and full-scale board game to Microsoft trainers to celebrate and promote the launch of the Who Hacked? Learn Cloud games.
Microsoft sought The Game Agency’s help in building a hands-on, single-player, and multiplayer experience that would allow intermediate-level security, compliance, and identity professionals to practice and validate their technical skills using Microsoft products. The goal was to provide more learner engagement with their audience of 70,000 million professionals. The Game Agency leveraged its proprietary technology The Training Arcade® to create the game and facilitator tools and integrated the platform into Microsoft Learn platforms.
This game was presented as part of DevLearn’s annual DemoFest, a showcase of projects pre-selected by the Learning Guild that represent innovative learning solutions, through the use of course authoring, games, video, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or xApi. At DemoFest, attendees (learning and development professionals) are able to learn about all the projects in one location and ask the creators questions. Attendees then vote on which one they think exemplifies excellence in the appropriate category.
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