Mr. Al Mamun is a happily married person with his small family-his mother, wife and 3 years old son, Tahsin. Tahsin is a very intellectual boy who loves to play with other children. Like other tech-era children, Tahsin has access to smartphone and internet. He can browse smartphone and play games.He enjoys music and cartoon shows.

Mr. Mamun and his wife are anxious about their children. Is technology helping their children? Does it have any harmful effect?

Mamun’s feeling has a valid point. There is a generation gap between him and his child. During his childhood, things were entirely different from now. Mamun was in a different environment, his learning system and surroundings were different.

This is a common scenario in every home in the city. People become more tech-dependent than ever. Navigating through cyberspace is a daunting task for most parents.

These adults are trying to keep children safe from whatever lurks in the sinister shadows of the internet and social media.

“I was definitely worried about cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying,” said one of my uncles. Not only cyber-bullying but other adult contents on the internet are now under great concern.

Experts believe that lack of children friendly contents may influence our future generation greatly. Childrens are learning Hindi more quickly than Bangla and English.

How can we save them? Is switching off internet an option?

Here comes the “super hero”- RiseUp Labs

RiseUp Labs is a Bangladeshi based iOS and Android game development firm. It is established in 2009 and has been successfully operating since then. The firm is aiming in designing fun, challenging, no cost unique games & apps in iOS, Android and Windows devices.

rup-1RiseUp Labs greatly feels the necessity of children friendly content on the internet. They have developed and launched popular games like Tap Tap Ants on iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The game is a massive success with millions of downloads and still counting. The game took the game development firm to a whole new level and has made RiseUp Labs no.1 in Bangladesh. They have launched other successful games like Highway Chase, Rooftop Frenzy, iWarehouse, Bubble Attack and Shoot The Monkey.

UNICEF and social media giant Facebook launched a year-long program Friday aimed at reaching 25 million Bangladeshi children and strengthening awareness among parents and educators about protecting them from the perils of the digital world.

29572871_947880218670122_2083701214084151731_nEarlier, UNICEF and Facebook requested to creative agencies for developing children friendly contents and submitting to them for a competition. From Bangladesh RiseUp Labs and other creative agencies took part in the competition. RiseUp Labs submitted their 3 projects. These are Speech of 7th March in VR (virtual reality), AR game 1952 and Tap Tap Ants-the most popular game from the agency.

From a large number of submission, UNICEF and Facebook chose RiseUp Labs as the 2nd winner of the award titled “Best Internet Content for Children”.

It is a great news for a Bangladeshi game development firm to achieve recognition from a UN body and Facebook. The award recognizes the effort, dedication, and passion of RiseUp Labs team.

Let’s get a brief idea of the products/contents submitted by RiseUp Labs

Project: Speech of 7th March in VR by RiseUpLabs

With the support of ICT Division, Rise Up Labs worked for the development of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic 7th March speech in virtual reality (VR), which was recognized by UNESCO as one of the most important historical traditions in the world. The demo version of this app was inaugurated in ‘Digital World-17′ event. The main focus was to create consciousness among 16 million people about our independence and liberation war.

In the final version of both VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) app, users will be able to see the full details of 7th March speech. Also, a special short version with very important part of the speech will be added in the final version.

Project:1952

The aim of this app is to educate and inspire the new generation to learn more about the achievement and glory that our Language Martyrs did for our mother tongue in 1952. The “১৯৫২” is an Augmented Reality app that creates a new way for people to learn about what happened in the Language Movement of 21st February of 1952. “১৯৫২” app is available for Free to download in Google Play Store.

Project: Tap Tap Ants

It’s a free ant smasher game where crazy ant’s approaches so quickly to fill their appetite, spoil your delicious fast food (e.g. donuts, cookies etc) and play with you! You have to save your food from them. Be ready!

THE MEGA EVENT

UNICEF and social media giant Facebook launched a year-long program Friday aimed at reaching 25 million Bangladeshi children and strengthening awareness among parents and educators about protecting them from the risks of the digital world.

More than 10,000 students from at least 100 schools joined teachers, parents, policymakers, and internet industry leaders, along with 2 million online visitors, at the kickoff event.

29571085_947880132003464_4255886199260701434_n

More than 10,000 students from at least 100 schools joined teachers, parents, policy makers and internet industry leaders, along with 2 million online visitors, in the kickoff event at a theater in Dhaka, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced in a news release.

rup-2“The internet was designed for adults, but it is increasingly used by children and young people – and digital technology often affects their lives and futures. So, digital policies, practices, and products should better reflect children’s needs, perspectives and voices,” UNICEF Bangladesh Representative Edouard Beigbeder said at the kickoff event.

In response, the chairman of Bangladesh’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Shahjahan Mahmood, said the commission was considering limiting children’s access to the internet in order to shield them from its potential dangers.

“This [social media] is an addiction like opium. We have been discussing the possibility of limiting the use of social media, especially by children. This is at the planning stage now,” Mahmood told.

rup-3He said the technology would allow adults to monitor sites visited by children.

“Those watching unproductive and bad sites can be charged more. This can be one strategy,” he said.

Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar, on the other hand, said he wanted to use the internet for the educational benefit of boys and girls.

“Our duty is to make people aware of the dangers. Blocking [internet access] is not the solution,” he said. “The government must not do anything relating to social media that may harm education,” he said.

RiseUp Labs wants to thank ICT Ministry of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, UNICEF and Facebook for recognizing its effort. Greater recognition comes with greater responsibilities. RiseUp Labs is now focusing on creating more children oriented contents not only for Bangladesh but also for other countries as well.

News courtesy: bdnews24.com, The Dhaka Tribune. All the photos are taken from RiseUp Labs Facebook page.

Md. Julkernain Bin Abdullah