Playing 4 Keeps

[blog] Analysis of Ayiti: The Cost of LIfe 

A recent blog entry from Play This Thing offers up one of the sharpest analysis yet of the political messages with the game mechanics of Ayiti.

"Cost Of Life is one of the best political web games released in 2006... I'm not sure which was more compelling, the later feelings of success as I worked that dominant strategy, or the early feelings of anguished sympathy as these people helplessly struggled with no way out.

And a powerful comment in response to the blog is also worth noting:

"Because the immersion elements are done well - you tend to like the family members, they are clearly upbeat people who are working like dogs - the game subtly combats the ever more entrenched (American) idea that poverty is always the "fault" of the impoverished."

Read the post and comments here.

[media] New York Regional Association of Grantmakers profiles Global Kids 

Global Kids was profiled in the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers' publication Voices from the Front Line: Profiles of Our Nonprofit Partners, which spotlights an exemplary grantee of NYRAG members each month. This is very exciting, and we are grateful to Brigitte Schmid of the Third Millennium Foundation for nominating us. The profile can also be viewed on NYRAG's web site at

[p4k] P4K Week 3 

The Playing 4 Keeps program finished its third week in Canarsie on Thursday, and it’s more popular than we ever hoped for. Twenty-seven students came out last week, a mix of relaxed, capable juniors and seniors, and enthusiastic boisterous freshmen and sophomores. Many of the students are avid gamers, and some are also budding illustrators—creating their own manga comics from stapled together notebook paper. We deffinately have the right mix of skills to make this project a success this year.

[media] Ayiti - Walking a Virtual Mile in Someone's Shoes 

Jean Hopfensperger of the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently had an article published focusing on Ayiti: The Cost of Life!.

You can read the article below or here.

Walking a virtual mile in someone's shoes

The hottest online games are exercises in empathy and put an activist twist on immigration, hunger and other social issues.

It's the latest addition to the immigration wars raging in this country: an award-winning computer game designed to let players walk in the shoes of five young immigrants -- including taking a hike right out of the country.

Players maneuver through the often tricky terrain of immigration law. Report domestic violence to police, and you risk arrest if you're here illegally. Shoplift a loaf of bread and you might end up in immigration court. Join the military without proper legal status and you can be all that you can be -- back in your home country.

Called "ICED!", a bit of wordplay on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the nation's top immigration agency, it's among the growing genre of online computer games that focuses on serious social issues.

[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.