P4K Youth Leaders talk game design with 28 girls from the Middle East & OMGPOP

Yesterday was quite a day at Global Kids! Youth from the Playing For Keeps program got to first meet with tech-oriented girls from the Middle East and then travel to the game design studio OMGPOP.


The first visit was with TechGirls, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  Twenty-five TechGirls participants were selected from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian territories, Tunisia, and Yemen. All were proficient in English and ranged in age from 15-17.  The program exposes them to advanced tools in technology and supports them in potential careers in the tech field.  And of course, through their trip, they were also developing leadership skills and a better understanding of US society and culture, by meeting with organizations like Global Kids!



The girls were facinated to hear about the work the GK youth had done over the year. And as we went around saying our favorite games, if you closed your eyes, you could never have guessed who was from which country. Games were clearly a universal language and source of connection. And it was the first time for most to hear how games could be used to address civic and global issues.


To view more photos from the visit, go here.


Afterwards, we headed over to the offices of OMGPOP, the developers of mobile games like Draw Something. They were AMAZING hosts. They gave us snacks and drinks and stickers and t-shirts and just so much love and attention.


Ali Nicholas coordinated our meeting with folks like:

Allan Norico - Concept and Production Artists

Joseph Alminawi - Community Manager
Matt Hural - Sr. Game Designer/Producer
Jeremy Parker - Sr. Software Engineer
Garrett Peek - UI Designer
Nitzan Blouin - Producer of Draw Something (former QA Director)


After the tour, they each spoke to the youth, often through being interviewed by one another. It was a dynamic and engaging process, and everyone loved it. It was a great way to end out the program year.



To view more photos from the OMGPOP visit, go here.