A NEW computer game has been created by people with learning disabilities to help keep them safe online.

The group, aged 16-40 from Edinburgh and Midlothian, worked with experts at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in Paisley to develop the game called #keepmesafe.

It is designed to simulate common scenarios faced by people using the internet, including staying safe on social media, navigating the complex world of online relationships and buying items via digital retailers.

The team worked with their local area co-ordination networks and played a key role in the design phase, discussing their online fears and ways of overcoming them with staff from Midlothian Council and experts from UWS’ Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies (SCET), which is behind the interactive tool.

The development teams used the information received from those taking part to create the prototype of the game, which was then given to participants across Edinburgh and Midlothian to try out.

Stuart Caulfield, new media education project officer in health and social care with Midlothian Council, said: “Many people with learning difficulties like to play video games and this project came about when we realised that harnessing that interest and excitement would be a great way to get vital safety information across.

“Feedback from the young people has been incredibly positive.

“They all face various challenges but this process brought them together and helped them learn about online safety, which is crucial for them in their day-to-day lives.

“We don’t want young people with additional support needs to avoid social media – quite the opposite.

“It’s important they know how to use sites like Facebook, Amazon and Twitter safely so they can be confident and in control of their social lives.”