Playing 4 Keeps

[p4k/teen] Devastating Hurricane Katrina 

Today we watched a video about Hurricane Katrina. I was really surprised to learn what the people were going through during the tragic couple of days after the hurricane. A lot of the people were highly disapointed when the government let them down. They were promised a legitimate amount of food to satisfy everyone. However at the local convention center, people were only given small sums of food that wasn't enough for everyone. This lasted for five days after the hurricane until the organization known as FEMA and the army came and brought an abundance of foods to help the people in need. This really showed me how situations can change, and a persons lifestyle can flip in a mater of hours.

[p4k/teen] Hurricane Katrina 

I learned today about Hurricane Katrina. People used items like refrigerators, buckets, beds and boats to get around. It took FEMA four or five days to send food and help to many black neighborhoods. It's sad because people got sick and died because FEMA took so long. I want to use our game to teach people we could have saved a lot more people fter Katrina.


[p4k/teen] Game ideas 

The game should have the type of weather shown in the documentaries eg. heavy wind, lighting and flooding. And over 1800 people drowed. FEMA gave out food to the people of New Orleans and the people and Coast Guard in New Orleans did a better job of helping than the DHS..

[p4k/teen] Survival 

What I learned today is about New Orleans trying to survive the hurricane by using boats,planes,and airbeds to float on the water. There was no food or shelter. There more than two bodies floating in the water; it was horrible to see. The hurricane was hard for the New Orleans resident because they did not have many people helping them with their problems.

[p4k/teen] What would be Great 

Today I have watched a devastating video which would be really useful for our game. Before I mention anything else, I would love to say that I have learned very much from watching this film. Seeing people suffer in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina was really hard and kind of peaved me off as well. But seeing that the U.S. Coast Guards were the first ones to start coping with the situation made me really happy. Then FEMA came along 4-5 days later to help the rest of the victims that were down as well. I can understand why people like Condaleezza Rice couldn't help with the situation, but Micheal Chertoff could have helped much better than he did. Thinking this through gives me an idea.

[p4k/teen] What We've Been Up To 

The date is Thursday, January 17, 2008 from 3-5pm, and the location is Canarsie High School. Our hangout room is rm. 344 and today we watched a bit more of the HBO documentary: "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts". Personally, i didn't watch the 6-hour documentary directed by Spike Lee, but i did learn a few things despite the fact that once again I was a little drowsy as usual. One thing I was disturbed to learn about was the fact it took about 4-5 days to rescue over a thousand people in New Orleans. But fear not, for within my disturbance of this fact comes an idea for the upcoming video game that I and the rest of the gang from Playing 4 Keeps are making.

As for the incite or insight on game designs and/or game ideas for the game, well...I'll probably inform you on that in the next blog.

'Til Then, All

[p4k] It's really really business time 

We got down to business at this week at Playing 4 Keeps. Since October, we’ve been having fun learning about game design, but in this second half we’re starting to pull our new skills together. We’ve reached the production cycle, and it’s time for the swirling ideals to coalesce into a coherent game idea. Towards that goal, we spent Monday researching and Thursday designing.

First, we spent the afternoon discussing how to use a search engine effectively. The internet is an ocean of information, but without an understanding of how to titrate it, the volume is simply overwhelming. We need to learn more about the Hurricane Katrina disaster, but there is also very specific information we’re looking for. The only way to find it is to effectively use search engines skillfully. I’m not sure what’s being taught in library these days (do kids even have a library class anymore?) but I think more time needs to be spent on research skills. There is much less need to memorize data if you simply know how to find it quickly.

[p4k] Evaluation on both Playing 4 Keeps and Ayiti released! 

After two and a half years, Global Kids is delighted to release the results of the independent evaluation by the Center for Children and Technology of both Playing 4 Keeps, our after school gaming program, and Ayiti, the game produced with Gamelab during the first year of the program.

For the evaluation CCT observed the program and interviewed the students. To evaluate the game they looked at the results of nearly 16,000 game plays.

Download the full report here.

In short, when we made Ayiti we wanted to learn if players would learn if the factors affecting access to education within an impoverished condition are both interdependent and exist within a dynamic system. CCT's research found that "the central idea embedded in the game play, that no single factor accounts for success, appears to have been successfully communicated to the majority of players." Bingo!

In addition, they describe how youth report that through their participation in the after school program their experiences involved:

[p4k student] Jean 's thoughts on today workshop 

Hey today I did a workshop teaming up with 3 other people to work on finding Katrina facts. We each worked on one question and wrote the answer on on the paper.

[press] The Parent's Paper spotlights virtual worlds and education 

The January issue of the New Jersey magazine The Parent Paper, has an article entitled "Student's Try a Virtual World", which spotlight's both the programs Global Kids and Ramapo are running within Second Life.


They quoted Barry several times regarding TSL.

“Once we went into Teen Second Life, we found things we didn’t find anywhere else. In Teen Second Life you have a spatial relationship with others around you and it feels like you are with people. We could do the same workshops for kids virtually that we were doing in reality.

We could do these workshops in ways that we never thought were possible. In Teen Second Life you don’t have to just imagine you are in a factory – you are in a factory. And teens are building the factory. A lot of our top down approach for spreading information was met equally with ideas from the bottom up. The space is about putting young people in charge and giving them tools. What we are able to do as educators in that space is tap into nascent leadership skills.”