ASU develops free kids game to learn about heat safety

A new video game developed by ASU is teaching kids about heat safety.

It’s called Beat the Heat, and it’s a brand new, free video game developed by Arizona State to teach kids of all ages about the dangers of intense triple-digit temps.

Mesa and Glendale students are already playing the game. The goal is to roll it out to all school districts in the state and throughout the country.

When you’re a desert dweller, you're forced to learn tips and tricks about how to stay cool and safe.

That starts when you’re young.

"We developed it for younger kids, but we find that everybody loves to play it," said Charles Kazilek, executive director of Ask a Biologist, a K-12 educational outreach program at ASU.

In the game, you start with selecting a character and a language. From there, you begin your quest, starting at grandma’s house.

"Grandma’s house is where a lot of people get tripped up. You think, ‘This is easy. We grew up in the heat,’ or most of us have spent a lot of time in the heat, and you’d think we’d be prepared. I ended up having to go to the hospital several times in the game, because I kept on forgetting to drink water," Kazilek said.

You better keep an eye on that water level too. Because if you don’t, it’s game over.

Along the way, students are learning and earning points for heat safety tips, including how to handle fans.

"The science behind that is evaporative cooling. So if you aren’t there, you’re not going to feel the effects of the fans. The fans are actually generating heat because of the motor, so if no one is going to be in the room, you want to turn the fan off. That’s a tip for the game, by the way, because you can get ten extra points if you do that," Kazilek said.

With every click and level up, Kazilek hopes people of all ages will fill up their water bottles, put on their sunscreen and stay hydrated.

"It’s getting warmer. It’s not going away. We need to adapt, and we need to stay safe," Kazilek said.

The game is free and available on your computer, iPad and mobile phones.