ASU releases free online video game to teach children about heat safety

May 1, 2024, 8:00 PM

Beat the Heat new ASU free to play video game...

The game teaches children to drink water and stay in the shade to keep cool. (Screenshots from "Beat the Heat")

(Screenshots from "Beat the Heat")

PHOENIX — A new free-to-play video game from Arizona State University teaches children how to stay cool in hot weather.

Children can play the online game on any device as long as they use a web browser. The game takes them through a virtual world, where they roam around a small town while the sun is out.

Beat the Heat” also has a health bar that constantly lowers. If it empties, a game over screen pops up and informs players that they overheated and went to the hospital.

How does the free online ASU game work?

When players start “Beat the Heat,” they create a customizable avatar they navigate through various real-life scenarios.

Essentially, the game functions as an interactive learning tool. It uses colorful, kid-friendly graphics and a simple interface to teach life-saving heat safety practices.

The real-life survival elements in the game teach players to wear sun-protective clothing, sunglasses and suitable hats. Players can stand under trees and buildings to replenish their coolness bar.

When players fail to keep their characters cool, they game defaults to a page that says overheating can cause serious health issues. It reminds players that it’s easy to overheat when it’s warm outside — and that there are many ways to stay cool and healthy.

‘Beat the Heat’ teaches kids what can happen if they don’t stay cool during hot weather

ASU experts in the heat safety field collaborated with Ask a Scientist to ensure the game effectively teaches kids how to fight the deadly summer heat.

A grant from the U.S. Department of Education funded development of the game.

“Beat the Heat” was rolled out in a pilot program this spring to several K–8 schools in the area, according to ASU News. Some of the school districts promoting this game include Glendale Elementary School District and Mesa Public Schools.

The game came in the backdrop of Maricopa County shattering its annual record of heat fatalities. The county recorded 645 heat-related deaths in 2023.

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ASU releases free online video game to teach children about heat safety