Video game Minecraft will help keep Portsmouth children safe

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POPULAR video game Minecraft is going to be used to help keep Portsmouth children safe on the city’s beaches this summer.

Youngsters across the city are being called to join the RNLI’s Beach Builder Challenge when it rolls out next month.

The safety scheme, in its second year, will allow children to design their own virtual beaches and seasides.

Available to play from August 1, the game will also help teach youngsters key safety advice when having fun at the seaside this summer.

The RNLI’s community safety product manager, Bridie Appleby-Gunnill said: ‘This is a fun and interactive game for seven to 14-year-olds to play during the summer holidays.

‘We really hope the challenges will help Minecraft users visiting the beach this summer put their newly acquired beach safety knowledge into reality, and have fun while staying safe.’

Last year’s Beach Builder Challenge was a huge success with more than 8,000 children participating from all over the world, including Canada, Australia and the USA.

New for this year, the RNLI has expanded the virtual world to include a Beach Island Adventure, which means as well as being able to create epic beaches, this year creative youngsters are also tasked with completing four levels in the Beach Island Adventure.

The four levels are based on the charity’s Stay SAFE acronym: spot the dangers, take ​advice, stay close to a friend or family member, learn what to do in an emergency.

The charity said that feedback from last year that after playing it 97 per cent of gamers knew to go to a lifeguarded beach and that there was a 20 per cent boost in the number of children who knew to dial 999 to ask for the coastguard in a seaside emergency.

To join the scheme or for more details, email gaming@rnli.org.uk.