[P4K] Blogging & gaming on poverty issues 

This year's Blog Action Day focused on Poverty and as part of that, countless bloggers created posts highlighting this issue. Interestingly our game Ayiti: the Cost of Life showed up in quite a few places on short lists of serious game playing experiences that help to raise awareness over poverty issues.

From the Mission to Learn blog focusing on Learning, Technology and Change blog entry, "5 Games Against Poverty and Hunger":

"I am increasingly of the opinion that games can be great learning tools and catalysts for change."

We were also on the top five of the Humane Connections blog:

The player has 4 years (divided into 16 seasons) to try to succeed, and has to choose a “strategy” at the beginning: health, education, happiness or money. Who will work, rest, go to school, volunteer, get health care? How will it be paid for? Each choice has a consequence (some positive, some negative). The game is somewhat complicated, with a variety of choices and actions necessary for each season.

[tsl/leadership] Kicking off the new year of POC in Second Life 

Time has flown since the end of the summer started creeping up on us here at GK and we were thrust into the new school year, and I've barely gotten a moment to step back and let the blogosphere know about some of the great stuff that's been going on. One of the exciting things that I'd like to share is the kick off the third year of the Power of Citizenry in Second Life program, alternately known as the Second Life Internship Progam.

[Press] Release of First Seasonal Report from RezEd 

Global Kids Releases First Seasonal Report From Online Educational Tool RezEd

NEW YORK, Oct 10, 2008 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Global Kids Inc. has released the first seasonal report from the 1,200 member strong RezEd ( www.RezEd.org), Global Kids' new hub for learning and virtual worlds. The seasonal report summarizes the range of activities and discussions taking place among those on the cutting edge of education, on commercial platforms like Dizzywood and Second Life and on educational ones such as Quest Atlantis. The report highlights material produced for and by the RezEd community, including a range of MacArthur Foundation grantees such as James Paul Gee, Sasha Barab, and Linda Burch. In addition, this inaugural report offers a special feature on Ethics and Virtual Worlds shown to the public for the first time by a team from Harvard University's GoodPlay Project.

To download a free copy of the report visit www.RezEd.org

About Global Kids, Inc. ( www.globalkids.org)

[conf] Global Kids visits the new Fred Rogers Center 

Last week I had the honor of joining Mathew Cruz, one of our VVP youth leaders, to speak about Global Kids’ work at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College “October 2, 2008 Briefing: Youth-created Media.” This special event coincided with the grand opening and dedication of their beautiful new (and green!) building on the campus of Saint Vincent College.

The mission of the new Fred Rogers Center is to bridge early learning and children’s media. Over the course of the two days we were there, it was evident that the staff of the Rogers Center are committed to exploring new ways to stay true to this mission using new media, “to act as a catalyst for communication, collaboration, and creative change.”
I had the opportunity to speak about our work in OLP using digital media to inspire and support young people to be the change they envision. Even more importantly, Mathew was able to speak directly of his experience with us in VVP. He wrote of his experience here.

Amira and Rik were recently interviewed by DK for his MediaSnackers vodcast during his tour of the eastern United States. They give an overview of Global Kids and our interest in digital media and virtual worlds and discuss in-depth what RezEd is all about. So nice to get to hang out in person with DK, our podcast partner across the pond!

[RezEd] RezEd Report Now Available Online! 

The RezEd seasonal report summarizes the cutting edge activities and discussions of educators in the RezEd community. RezEd's inaugural report offers a special feature on Ethics and Virtual Worlds by a team from Harvard University's GoodPlay Project. The report also highlights podcasts and best practices on the educational uses of Second Life, Dizzywood, and Quest Atlantis.


Tonight Global Kids hosted a presidential debate watching party in Teen Second Life.  We had a very good turnout of about 28 teens, several of whom stayed for the entire 90 minutes -- which is asking a lot of a teenager on a school night.  Pretty much every single one of them was an Obama supporter.  Still we had a good discussion and debate on the issues that I think helped them to think more broadly about the political process in America.

Overall it gave me hope about virtual worlds being the public sphere in a digital age. More comments and quotes from the teens follow...

We used the fireside chat area of of Global Kids island, which is a great informal space to have these kinds of discussions. It's hard to be too stressed and uptight sitting around a campfire!  One of our interns Mat helped decorate the space by putting up a bunch of American flags and buttons for each of the six sets of candidates on the ticket. 

[Conf] A video walking tour with Barry Joseph on the Ludic Life 

If you haven't already seen it, check out the great video Draxter Despres did of Barry joseph talking about the concept of the Ludic Life. It is a behind the scenes footage of Drax following Barry through some of SLCC interviewing him on his keynote, GK's experiences in virtual worlds and the concept of Ludic itself.

[Conf] Prospero's thoughts on Living a Ludic Live 

In reflection on Barry Joseph's keynote at this year's SLCC, Prospero Linden posted a blog entry on his thoughts on the talk and what it means personally to sometimes live a Ludic Life.

One of my favorite talks was given by Barry Joseph of Global Kids, and was entitled Why second Life Can’t Tip: the Power and Perils of Living La Vida Ludic. I suspect that the whole not-tipping business was in the title to get people to want to come to the talk, but I have to admit that I found that part of the talk less interesting, and perhaps even borderline irrelevant.

However, the concept of La Vida Ludic is something that really grabbed me, partly because I hadn’t seen it layed out clearly and definitively before… yet, in the concepts, I recognized something in the way that I live my life.

[vvp] Trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania :-) 

This Event is really exciting. I had to take an airplane to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to introduce Global Kids Virtual Video Project to the educators along with Meghan at Fred Rogers Center. This was my first time giving a speech to fundraisers and educators. I almost had a nervous breakdown, but I was calmed by Meghan and other friends who reminded me that it is okay to be nervous. Of course I had to practice what I planned to say. If not, I'd have too many pauses tongue.gif But anyways, I did alright. Many people have asked me a lot of questions about GK and VVP. Many people gave me excellent compliments about the speech. smile.gif

Well anyways, before the day for speech, Meghan and I visited Fred Rogers Center, of course I loved his show...Oh man, sooo many memories. "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, Would you be mine? Could you be mine?" It is so awesome to see his puppets, his train, his sweater and his shows that he used for his show. But he did many more things than making an awesome show for kids. He has a good heart.