[VVP/Teen] Working on my PSA 

cool.gifWhile I was doing some research on privacy in the internet (my PSA topic) I decided to look at the articles in The Times Magazine. There I found some cool, but scary information. In the article they mention different websites that take the time to upload all our private information, at least for phone owners. Then if you want to, you can pay like $50 and they will provide you with the background information of the person you are searching. I think we definitely do not have any type of "privacy". There are also many websites that can provide you with credit card information and social security numbers. This whole thing definitely goes against our right to privacy as the universal declaration of human rights states in article 12. Now I’m definitely much more afraid of sharing information online. Anyone can be at risk, someone that does to like you can easily find you phone number, address and all "private" information in the internet and later harm you. mad.gif
Even though this is a great problem out there, what can we do about it?
I think for now all we can do is inform people by making the PSAs and later see what happens.

The recent issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, one of the most important publications for those in the world of foundations, just published an excellent article on the emergence of Games for Change. To our delight, Global Kids work was referenced throughout. Below are some highlights:

Our Playing 4 Keeps program:

International Issues

One of the first nonprofit groups to enter the world of electronic gaming was Global Kids.

The organization, which has worked for more than 20 years to improve academic performance in troubled New York public schools, started developing digital games three years ago. The charity's games have been used to educate teenagers in the city and elsewhere about international issues and to encourage them to get involved in civic projects.

After seeing a prototype of a Global Kids game, Microsoft gave the organization $500,000 for an after-school program in which teenagers work with professional designers to develop games about social issues.

Their first game, released in November, is called Ayiti: The Cost of Life. Made in cooperation with Gamelab, a New York company that develops video games, it is available on Unicef's Web site.

The Associated Press mentioned Ayiti in an article entitled, "Developers build video games as tool for political commentary." The article was then picked up by a number of major publications, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Forbes, and Businessweek.

Specially about our game, they said, "[Some games] hope to give gamers a better feel for the plight of the poor. New York-based gameLab created "Ayiti: The Cost of Life," which challenges players to guide a family of five as they struggle to survive amid poverty in rural Haiti. "Poverty is an obstacle to global human rights," said Peter Lee, gameLab's co-founder. "We made a game where you have to go through a very rough life, and we made the game hard on purpose."

[VVP/Teens] Last Session..... 

On Thursday, we started researching on some problems that can be faced online. My topic was on Online Identity. I thought that online identity was not posting personal information online. After further research and the help from Barry, I learned that there is another part to online identity. It is that people can't see who you are, and what you look like, discriminating remarks can be made on the Internet. I believe that although the Internet is used in modern day technology, and it's a great invention, ignorant people use it in very stupid ways. There is already enough discrimination in the real world, so why bring it into the virtual world?

[sl] UNICEF Launches News Video on GK Festival in Teen Second Life 

Today, UNICEF launched, on their homepage, a fantastic 2.5 minute video reporting on last December's Global Kids UNICEF A World Fit For Children Festival. Click the image below to see what it looked like on the homepage.


The machinima for the video was created by both Global Kids staff and the youth leaders in our after school machinima program. (clearly, we could NOT be more proud, nor appreciative of UNICEF giving the student the opportunity to produce material that could be seen from the UNICEF homepage!).

Below is the video on YouTube:

Finally, the extended text of the video can be read in its entirety below or you can read it right on the UNICEF website.

In the virtual world of Second Life, teens tackle
real children’s issues UNICEF Image

By Rachel Bonham Carter

UNICEF correspondent Rachel Bonham Carter reports on UNICEF’s collaboration within Teen Second Life.

NEW YORK, USA, 24 January 2007 – Voices of Youth, UNICEF’s own online forum, recently helped reach hundreds of children from around the globe with a groundbreaking project in Teen Second Life, the under-18 corner of the increasingly popular virtual world, Second Life.

[blog] More on Ayiti, this time in Norwegian! 

Boy, they just seem to keep coming! Here is a another blog that mentions Ayiti...this time a Norwegian one.

[blog] Teens Reflect on Virtual Summer Camp 

Global Kids continues to contribute to the MacArthur Foundation blog spotlighting Digital Media & Learning.

This time we had the teens weigh in about their thoughts on the Virtual Summer Camp, then opened it up for discussion:

"When you think of summer camp what images come to mind? Perhaps getting outdoors, leaving one’s home, physical challenges, and bugs? Well, for participants in last summer Camp Global Kids program, in the teen grid of Second Life, they might respond: flying on floating platforms, watching hippos fall from the sky, and taking action on world issues."

The conversation can be followed below and also viewed on the MacArthur blog - here.

Youth Discussion #2: Teens Reflect on Virtual Summer Camp

The summer program took 15 teens, plus two teen interns, through an intensive experience three hours a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Details of this unique program, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, can be found in this short video presentation or in this just-released 12-page comic book (based on photos and chat logs from the program).

[blog] Blog Bonanza Day for Ayiti 

When we figure out why, we'll let you know, but today there have been a plethora of blog posts about Ayiti. These are just a few of the ones who simply didn't mimic the others.

It all began with the blog, Am I Grown Up Yet?, posting the following entry, which turned us on to the more than unexpected Marie Claire magazine coverage:

And you thought we had it tough.

As mentioned in this month’s Marie Claire magazine:

Having trouble saving money? Paying for your education? Finding a decent job?

Your life may seem hard, but believe me, it could be a lot worse. Just check out Ayiti: Cost of Life, a game created by UNICEF to demonstrate the difficulties that people in Haiti (and most likely many other developing countries) face. And keep in mind that as you play, 1 Haiti gourde (spelled goud in the game) is 1/37 of a US dollar.

A word of warning: This is about the hardest game of this type that I’ve ever seen. They’re going for realism, not user-friendliness. Give it a couple runs through and you’ll start to have a real appreciation for how difficult life can really be. This is definitely one game which is not “just a game.”

[print] Ayiti Becomes Marie Claire's Hot Spot 

We've been looking forward to the first print magazine to cover our game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life. We just never knew it would be Marie Claire:

"Logged on at your desk," they ask, "but trying to avoid actually working? Five hot spots to surf this month."

    Addictive video game meets serious social message in "Ayiti: The Cost of Life." You're responsible for a Haitian family's destiny as they struggle to make a living and get educated. Sounds simple, but this survival game, supported by UNICEF, is tougher than it looks.

[VVP/Teens] Thursday's session 

Last Thursday in Global Kids we watched some campaign videos and discussed the different techniques being used. I learned that you can make a campaign video persuasive enough based on what you are offering, what the oppenent isn't offering, using different camera angles, and using symbols. This will prove most valuable to our goal for making a convincing video about a global issue. I personally don't like the fact of convincing through intimidation. We should not tell others to improve through knowing the consequences, but showing what a better world it can be if we play a role in improving our society.