[blog] Henry Jenkins Reports on His New Global Kids Avatar 

Henry Jenkin's recently posted on his notable blog about his experience with Global Kids Island, both appearing in a live video stream during the recent MacArthur Foundation announcement and through viewing images of the avatar we created for him.

From his blog entry entitled, "The New and Improved Henry Jenkins":

I was so impressed by the experience of participating in the MacArthur Foundation's press event, which was partially held in the New York Museum of Natural History and partially held in Second Life, that I sought out Barry Joseph from Global Kids, an organization which regularly runs events through Teen Second Life, to see if there might be a way I could engage with their youth participants. My one concern, as a media scholar, had been that when we spoke in Second Life at the press event, we appeared as cinematic images and not as avatars.

[P4K] Ayiti featured at the Margaret Mead Film Festival 

Ayiti: The Cost of Life was recently featured at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. Alongside a number of other games including Darfur is Dying and A Force More Powerful, Ayiti helped to flush out the panel on video games with an activist bent. The panel was organized by Games for Change, the organization that leads the field of social change through digital gaming.

One might be wondering, "Why are there games at a documentary film festival?" This is a valid question. Games are undeniably not films. However, some video games (and the number grows each day) are in fact documentaries. Video games with real world content, like Ayiti and others like it, reflect a natural outgrowth of the medium that reflects what is actually happening in the world. A similar thing happened to film in the 1970's, when documentary film changed the way that people looked at the medium of film and its potentials. As opposed to being a fluke, it's likely that this isn't the last time you'll hear about games at film festivals. In fact, we know it's not. : )

[HMDS] GK hosts event with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum 

GK is proud to host the "OUR WALLS BEAR WITNESS - DARFUR: WHO WILL SURVIVE TODAY?" is a mixed media event, taking place during Thanksgiving week, 2006 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, as well as concurrently in the virtual 3-D reality on-line community, Second Life. Wall-sized images depicting the escalating genocide in Darfur will be projected onto the facade of the Museum as well as in SL. This represents not only the first time the national memorial's exterior is being used to highlight contemporary genocide, but also in Second Life on GK Island.

Visitors to GK Island will be able to view the exhibition with its powerful, thought-provoking images, as well as a 1 hour video of the actual installation at the GK theatre.

Teens on TSL are encouraged to drop by between Nov 22-26, 2006 to check out the event, leave their feedback, take a snapshot, and GK will reimburse $20L per snapshot submitted. For more information on the event by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, please go to www.ushmm.org

[sl/p4k/mac] They Found Each Other! 

It amazes me that I can still be amazed by Second Life. After eleven months in this space you would think we would have experienced it all by now. But no...

Yesterday we took the Playing 4 Keeps students into Second Life for the first time. You can read what Lithelson had to say about it, even though his TSL account was not available until this morning. Then this afternoon we took the machinima students in to Second Life for the first time.

Okay, that's it. End of day. Time to go home.

At home, I needed to go into TSL to work on the Darfur Photo exhibit. However, I was not in for ten seconds when I received one, two, then a third IM, from that number of GK Leaders. They were all teens from the Machinima program, that I had just left a few hours earlier. One by one they were logging in, I presume from home.

I found where most were gathering, where I last left them, at the entrance to the maze. And there was another GK Leader, Lithelson, the one from Playing 4 Keeps. There he was standing in front of me, surrounded by other "Gkids", none knowing who the others were.

I explained that all Gkids, who are not staff, are other Global Kids Leaders. Then they met each other.

This week's BusinessWeek Magazine has a series of articles about real-world organizations taking their brands into Second Life. A neat graphic lists the picks for examples in each category. For non-profit? Global Kids! (Of course, we view other non-profits in SL as members in a growing community, not as our "rivals," but I guess this is how the business world sees what we do.)


Global Kids
January 2006

WHY Education, teen ourtreach, fund-raising. WHAT Runs after school programs and held a summer camp where students built an educational game about child sex trafficking and raised funds for victims. RIVALS U.N., American Cancer Society, Dartmouth, Harvard, NYU. FACTS Located on Teen Second Life grid, for users age 13 to 17.

Read the full article here.

[UNICEF/Teen] A World Fit for Children Building Contest 

Hi there! Let me introduce myself, my name is Alpha Zaius on the teen grid. I am currently helping Global Kids along with with the the "World Fit for Children Building Contest." This contest is the biggest one ever seen on the grid and I am extremely happy to be a part of it. So, here is the low-down on what is going on.

(click to read on)

[pr] GK presents at Microsoft's World Wide School of the Future 

For Immediate Release:

Media Contacts: Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, Inc.: 646-354-3657 jonah@globalkids.org

Online Game Developed by Minority Youth in Brooklyn Will Educate Thousands about Global Poverty and Education at TheCostofLife.org

In After School Program Conducted By Global Kids, Inc. and Gamelab, and Funded by Microsoft, Students Learn about Global Issues and work with Professional Game Developers

New York, NY, November 15, 2006 - Global Kids, Inc., the foremost nonprofit in New York City dedicated to educating urban youth about international affairs, and Gamelab, New York City's largest game development company, announce the release of the exciting online game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life (theCostofLife.org), which uses the location of Haiti to educate players about the obstacles to education faced by children in developing countries. When distributed and used within either a classroom or after school setting, the game will be a strong tool for building students' global awareness and civic literacy.

[print] Congressional Quarterly Researcher Cites GK in Game Report 

Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Researcher is a weekly non-partisan journal that provides in-depth coverage on critical issues of current affairs. First published in 1923, it is associated with the daily Congressional Quarterly, whose readership includes 95 percent of the members of Congress.

The most recent issue of CQ Quarterly focuses on the question: "Video Games: Do They Have Educational Value?" This twenty-four page report offers an excellent overview of the issue. Global Kids is all over the report, so you'll have to download the lovely pdf and read it all for yourself. In general, the report cites our work in our Playing 4 Keeps program, in our Summer Camp in Second Life, and our leadership programs in that virtual world.

[HMDS] GK Island Newsletter, Nov 2006 

=== Global Kids Newsletter ===
November, 2006

This month, learn about:




GK hosts the GK ICC Spotlight Scavenger Hunt Event

For one week, visitors to the GK Island can participate in the GK International Criminal Court (ICC) Spotlight Scavenger Hunt, happening from November 10th - 18th, 2006. Look for the cauldron outside the volcano and win prizes! If you have any questions, please IM Andrew Montagne.


A World Fit For Children Festival, featuring a build contest

From November 13 - December 22, 2006, Alpha Zaius will be working with Tabitha GKid to launch the A World Fit For Children Festival. Amongst other things, it will include a build contest, offering a $200US grand prize. For more information, IM Alpha Zaius or Tabitha GKid.


MIT's Futures of Entertainment Conference