Global Kids' work in Second Life was mentioned in this new book: Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are REALLY Doing Online, by Anastasia Goodstein.

Here is an excerpt from it:

[p4k] Global Kids Launches Its New Island: Serious Gaming Island 

Celebrating the start of our second year in the teen grid, Global Kids has launched the Global Kids Serious Gaming Island, along with the Global Kids Machinima Island. Both islands will develop communities that will support our related after school programs while providing an environment to engage TSL residents around the same issues.

Below is a shot from the first few moments on the island, - a tringo board and a chess board, with Blue helping us out, along with Rafi, Joe Gkid, Mercury, Jackson Widget, and myself. Very exciting things to come.

[VVP/Teens] Cinematography Workshop 

Last class we learned a lot! We had a cinematography workshop where we watched clips from movies that had interesting camera angles or colors or styles. We learned that the colors and lighting of scenes can affect the mood, while speeding up and slowing down scenes can cause dramatization or draw attention on objects. We learned about different camera angles that cause different effects like in "Do The Right Thing" the camera angles looking up at someone and looking down on someone gives you the feel of respect and a sort of looking down on a person literally and figuratively. Each clip had a specific style that was important. For example, Amelie used lighting and color to bring out moods. The shining used the camera angle at a low point so that it gives you the point of view of a helpless child. Psycho used the camera to stay at a certain point while things happen off screen to cause a sense of foreboding and The Untouchables used slow motion to cause dramatization in which the baby carriage fell in slow motion. All the clips were very interesting and gave me a lot of ideas for my groups PSA.

[Teen/VVP] Breaking Down Components 

On Thursday the 15th of February, we mostly spent the Machinima session watching different clips. I think everyone can say that they did learn something from that session because Chris and Meredith broke down different aspects of a movie, or aspects that a movie may contain, and showed it to us. They used different clips to show us how people use color, angle, shots and duration in the actual movie. I guess I liked how they taught it to us because they showed us a clip and asked about one aspect like color and then they showed us one that was very different. By the last clip we could identify most of the different aspects and so we could basically watch a clip and break down the different components. The movies were all pretty interesting—but I have probably only watched….four maybe? We didn’t get to watch one last clip though…it was a German movie—it wouldn’t load on Youtube. Oh well~ I guess. I thought the movie Psycho seemed pretty interesting; it may have been an old movie, but the plot seemed interesting. I think this was a good time for me to learn these things because I was actually watching some videos made by Torley Linden about making shots on SL—and the lesson Meredith and Chris gave coincided perfectly with that. So I guess, now all there is to do, is begin the production process—or do the actual filming…gather our props together…and etc. etc….

[tv] ABC News Includes Ayiti in Coverage of Serious Games 

ABC News aired a piece on serious games in which they interviewed Catherine from Gamelab and showed footage and spoke about our game, Ayiti: the Cost of Life.

Click here to view the piece.

Here are some photos:

[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.