Playing 4 Keeps - Fifth Session - IT'S FUNJACATIONAL! 

We did a lot today in Playing For Keeps.

First we discussed games as a form of communication and the responsibilities of game designers towards their players and society.

Then we used Tiltfactor's Grow-A-Game deck to develop some basic game design skills, and specifically skills associated with values-based games.

Finally, everyone learned how to use their new accounts HERE and start blogging their reflections on the program and posting their earliest game designs from Gamestar Mechanic. It was the first time we asked them to reflect on the program, as we enter the second month, and were impressed with both how much they are learning and how clearly they were able to talk about it:

"Games can be used as a tool to change the way people think and interact."

"Playing for Keeps has revolutionized the way I think about gaming as a whole... No longer will a game just be a game, but a transformed piece, an artistic creation, always with a purpose and always with a meaning."

"I was able to learn about decision making and what it takes to make a game worth playing."

"The activities ... cause us to open up and compose our own world which we control."

"This program has opened my eyes to another part of the gaming world, and I'm eager to learn more."

My Experience At P4K 

So far the experience at Global Kids P4k has been great. I enjoy meeting up with people who share common ideas, and a love for games. You learn about game mechanics and how they make up games. This changes my idea of games because I no longer view games in the same way. Now when I look at a game, I am capable of dissecting the game because despite what the game may appear to be, the foundation holds a message.

Also I gain new perspective on how games can be used to portray world events, or a message. Games can be used as a tool to change the way people think and interact. tongue.gif

Playing for Keeps, the experience 

Playing for Keeps has revolutionized the way I think about gaming as a whole. Even though we have been in the program for a short month, the messages that Barry and Daria have taught us have impacted me personally in such a way that will change my view of games for the rest of my life. No longer will a game just be a game, but a transformed piece, an artistic creation, always with a purpose and always with a meaning. This is definitely a promising internship and I am grateful that I was blessed with the opportunity to not only go through it, but to share it with people I can now call friends.


Hello , my name Ednica and I am in P4k. A few weeks ago, in the middle of October, I was told that students at my school could join global kids. Not knowing much about the program, I didn't know which program to choose. When it was my turn to choose a program, I choose randomly, and it turned out that I picked P4k. I had no idea, what I was going to do there. When I attended p4k my first day, I loved it! It was different, something new, and thats just what I needed. I thought that some angel picked that program just for me.

For two years I had a friend, a best friend named Jayshuan. He was always the type of person to play game. He spends his days playing games. I always asked him, why is he wasting all his times playing video games? I myself play computer games or games on my computer but, never like he did. After my first few weeks at P4k, I was able to start seeing games from a different prospective. I was able to learn about decision making and what it takes to make a game worth playing. During my time at P4K think I will develop some great skills and learn many different things.

Playing 4 Keeps - Fourth Session  

We began today's Playing For Keeps program playing Get and Kill, a game by P4K youth leader hrishat.

Then we pretended to be playtesters, demoing a new game in development. The project goals were to make a fast-paced and challenging game that is still accessible to less experienced players. The programmers have provided a few variations on a game and we need to decide which version to develop further: Block, Frag or Points.

Making Games in Gamestar Mechanic

Later on we used the following game to explore ideas about game design:
Look Before You Leap

Finally, the youth went into Gamestar Mechanic to design their first games.


Each month for the DML Central we at Global Kids annotate a list of our favorite finds from the past month in regards to digital media and learning. Below is our latest from October.

Global Kids NYC Haunts at MS 391 - Building with Aris 


Global Kids Staff Member Juan Rubio and students from MS 391 plotting the game storyline

This week students worked at further developing the storyline for as yet untitled game they have been working on. After working with author Nina Malkin last week they were able to figure out a general story arc and are now focusing on the details of figuring out how to use the game mechanics to showcase it. After walking through the flowchart of the game, the students were finally able to have a hands on experience with the Aris alpha editor. Each one learned how to create an object and place it on the map, debating what would be best to represent aspects of the game. It was great to see them take ownership of the technology and assisting one another without prompting, showcasing the understanding that collaboration is a key element in being able to create the best game possible.

Global Kids Youth Travel to Kenya and Create Social Media Projects 

IMG_4771.JPG Ten Global Kids Leaders from Brooklyn's High School for Global Citizenship traveled to Kenya for four weeks this summer to conduct collaborative projects with Kenyan youth using social media. The youth learned about Kenyan culture, worked with young Kenyan leaders to develop online social justice campaigns in their communities, and represented the U.S. Department of State as 2011 American Youth Leadership Program participants. Conducted in partnership with the National Center for Global Engagement's Bardoli Scholars Program and One World Now.

Global Kids NYC Haunts at Seward Park Library - Day 2 

Students at the Seward Park library began the process of learning game mechanics by testing several types of card and board games. Using Story Cubes and Once Upon A Time, students were able to discuss the importance of a coherent story and more importantly, working collaboratively towards a narrative. It was emphasized that they should begin seeing themselves as working as a team and to allow their ideas to develop and grow with the help of the other students. We then followed up with a game of Clue and discussed the benefits and disadvantages of complex gaming. The prior games depended on the players to create the narrative while Clue had one already built in. Students saw how a storyline works within gameplay and how can clues be effectively used to solve a mystery. We're excited to see how these skills will be applied to the ARIS based mystery game the students will create.

Playing 4 Keeps - Third Session  

This week in our third meeting of the Playing 4 Keeps program, Global Kids youth leaders spent time on Gamestar Mechanic completing the quest games. Several participants who have logged on from home have advanced and even started designing some of their own games! Afterwards, we focused on two game design concepts: games vs. play and emergence.

I chose a volunteer to create a simple game on Gamestar and as a group, we discussed the difference between “games” and “play”. We concluded that “play” is simply about doing something entertaining and fun, but a “game” has elements like goals, obstacles, and rules. However, just because a game has all of those elements does not make it a fun game.

We then discussed the concept of “emergence”, which is that complex systems develop out of a smaller set of simpler interactions. Youth brought up examples of games like Pac-Man, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, Tetris, and chess to talk about emergence. They mentioned that those games all have simple rules or actions, but when they interact with each other, they become difficult, complex, and interesting games that are also incredibly addictive.