Playing 4 Keeps

[blog] Coverage of our launch of Consent! 

Elaine Alhadeff of the blog Future Making Serious Games recently posted an overview of our new game Consent! which takes place entirely in Teen Second Life.

Global Kids to launch CONSENT! aiming at building awareness among young people around the complicated nature of informed consent within a coercive environment.

Global Kids is a world leader in using virtual worlds for education. Global Kids work in Second Life builds upon its more than 15 years of experience in youth leadership development and international affairs education, as well as its role as a national leader in using serious online games for educational purposes.

Global Kids' Second Life programs offer young people a world in which their characters can take part in myriad workshops and games that educate them about major world issues and events, from the International Criminal Court to global warming and child labor.

Playing 4 Keeps is an innovative youth media project, in which a team of Global Kids Leaders at South Shore High School is gaining leadership and game design skills that they will use to develop and produce a socially conscious online game each year.

Playing 4 Keeps First Meeting 

Last Thursday the 4th Playing 4 Keeps had its first meeting in it's new home, Canarsie High School. After wading through the preliminary beginning-of-the-program chaos and running around the school rounding up students as the last bell rang, the afternoon ran smooth as silk. Silk on top of gravel, but still...

Seriously though, we had fifteen returning GK leaders come out, veterans of both the Newz Crew program at Canarsie and Playing 4 Keeps at South Shore. We have a coalition this year, a twin school-hybrid, multi-skilled, game-designing super group. Call it the P4K All-Stars, like a best of album made up of all your favorite hits from South Shore and Canarsie. And we're going platinum this year!

CONSENT!!!! Playing it for the first time... 

I just played consent on second life & it was amazing. It still has a few bugs but overall I loved it. Well mostly I loved it cause my voice was in it, the way they designed it, the very useful information and the fact that I look cuter in the virtual world. But seriously I would play this game all day long.

[press] Ayiti becomes part of a youth focused software package 

After our recent GaCha award, Ayiti was selected to be part of the Computers For Youth Educational Software Package, which goes to youth around the country who receive their computers.

What follows is a description of the CFY's Educational Software Package v1.1 that Ayiti would be part of.

There are 100's of like-minded organization in the United States that are desperately seeking affordable, relevant software to put on their computers which are being distributed to families-in-need.

CFY is working diligently to make that happen. Utilizing our Student Software Specialist Team, education executives across the country and our own in-house resources we are testing some of the finest software titles available. Ayiti, we feel, falls into that category and that's why we are so excited to make your product available through the CFY Affiliate Network.

[press] U.S. PiL Mid-Tier Grantee Global Kids receives gaming award 

The July 2007 issue of the Connect, Partners in Learning newsletter features a spotlight on Global Kids receiving awards for Ayiti: The Cost of Life at the Games for Change festival. Their coverage is below.

Partners in Learning empowers students and teachers to realize their full potential, by partnering with education and government leaders through providing education resources-tools, programs, and practices-to empower students and teachers. This newsletter highlights current progress around the core programs that support Partners in Learning execution:

U.S. PiL Mid-Tier Grantee Global Kids receives gaming award

Global Kids' Ayiti: The Cost of Life ( reached the metric goal of 625,000 people that have experienced the game and also won one of the first "GaCha" awards for Best Awareness Raising Game at the Fourth Annual Games4Change festival in New York City. The game was also selected by game players on the site "Jay Is Games" as the best simulation game of 2006. As a result of this success, the gaming Web site has expressed an interest in hosting the game. This could bring millions more players and, possibly, generate revenue for Global Kids.

[pfk] Gaming for Good 

The recent July/August issue of Heifer International's journal "World Ark" features an article on games focusing on social change issues.

Gaming for Good
It all started with the United Nations Food Force (, a video game that gives players a peek into the sometimes dangerous missions of the World Food Programme. The movement caught on, and now college students, gaming industry professionals and even private sector companies are joining forces to support educational video games that put players in the shoes of people in war-torn, resource-poor and underdeveloped nations.

Lots of games are now available to reflect trouble spots all over the world. To examine the conflict in the Sudan, play "Darfur is Dying" ( For insight into the plight of Haitians, play "Ayiti" at "Pax Warrior" ( and "Peacemaker" ( let players try their hands at maneuvering through Rwandan genocide and forging a peace strategy for the Middle East.

[conf] GK at the GLS! 

This morning Global Kids ran a half-hour teen panel (our second this summer) at the Games, Learning and Society Conference. Read the official panel description from the program here.

The panel was composed of two Global Kids leaders - Jonathan from Playing 4 Keeps and Angela from the Virtual Video Project - and a third teen, Lane, whom we know from Second Life (and whom we were excited to learn would be the conference). In addition, we worked with two teens in Second Life to speak.

After an activity in which audience members received one of six trading cards about various GK programs (and met each other to create full collections and learn about the programs) each teen presented.

Jonathan spoke about making a game in Second Life, CONSENT!, about unethical medical prison research (read his own account of his experience here.) Angela spoke about using Second Life to create machinima about obesity and then child soldiers in Uganda (read her great description here ). Lane then spoke about his anti-adult presence activities in Second Life life and how that led to a major policy change by Linden Lab read some of his thoughts).

[p4k/teen] What I did at the GLS Conference 

I had a great experience at the 2007 GLS conference. GLS stands for Games, Learning and Society. This conference is a place in which many professionals discuss games and things surrounding them. These people discussed many things like the philosophy of games, how to do surveys about games and so on.

At this conference in a teen panel I and two other students named Angela and Lane discussed about our activities in Second Life and in Global Kids. Angela and I were a part of Global Kids while Lane never got involved in Global Kids but was involved in second life. I discussed the game Consent which focuses on prison experimentation. Angela spoke about her Machinima program which dealt with child soldiers. At first while presenting I was overwhelmed and felt shy, but as I answered the questions I began to feel very confident.

[Press] Video games getting deeper 

A great piece was posted Friday in the Toronto Star, entitled Video Games Getting Deeper, featuring our recent teen panel at the Games for Change conference and spotlighted Global Kids Playing 4 Keeps program and our game Ayiti: The Cost of Life.

You can read the full article below or here.

Video games getting deeper

A new generation of games aims to help youth better understand the world

June 15, 2007

Jane L. Thompson
Special to the Star

New York–Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Need for Speed may consume the attention of millions of teenagers, but according to a U.S. high school valedictorian, gaming has sparked a new revolution where students are becoming smarter as a result of video games.

But Ciara Bell, 18, a graduate of McKinley High School in Washington, D.C., isn't talking about games where you shoot the driver of a car before you snatch it. She's referring to games like PeaceMaker, Darfur is Dying and Ayiti: The Cost of Life, some of the award-winners this week at the Games for Change Festival.


561 Broadway New York, NY 10012 212-226-0130


Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, 212-226-2116,
Tom Mariam, Mariam Communications, 914-939-4294,

For Immediate Release:


At the fourth annual Games For Change Festival, held June 11-12 at the Parson’s New School of Design in New York City, Global Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating urban youth in international issues, won one of the first Games for Change ("GaCha") Awards for the best games for change made over the past few years. Global Kids's game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, created by students in Brooklyn in partnership with game development company, Gamelab, was awarded best awareness-raising game, for "the game that best raises awareness of an important social issue through engaging and meaningful gameplay."