Playing 4 Keeps

[Press] Haiti Financial & Cultural Magazine 

HFC MAGAZINE, or Haiti Financial & Cultural Magazine, is a monthly publication that covers social and economic topics related to Haiti. They recently wrote up Ayiti" The Cost of Life. An excerpt from their article is below.

Ayiti: The Cost Of Life

Global Kids, Inc., one of the largest game development company in New York City, recently announced the upcoming release of Ayiti: The Cost Of Life (www.CostofLife.Org), a game which uses Haiti to educate players about the obstacles the education and literacy process faces in underdeveloped countries.

Global Kids, Inc., a non-for-profit company dedicated to educating students in underserved communities about international affairs, announced that the game will be free and published with lesson plans for educators through a UNICEF website Child Alert ( and the educational network TakingITGlobal (

According to a brief description of the game’s concept, in Ayiti: The Cost Of Life, each player will assume the role of a family member living in Haiti, whom balances the goal of achieving literacy, make money to raise a family, staying healthy, and maintain happiness while facing numerous types of challenges like diseases and hurricanes.

[p4k] Ayiti The Cost Of Life 

The core mechanic of the game Ayiti The Cost Of Life is moving from place to place. This is considered the core mechanic because you do this rapidly. The goal of the game is to get as much money you can. The sub goal is a secondary goal. This tells you that you are closer to the goal. The sub goal of Ayiti is spending as little money you can. The conflict is basicaly an obstacal that stops the player from advancing. The conflict that I saw was saving and spending money. If you dont save the right amount of money you enter poverty and that causes your people too die. The uncertain thing about this game is natural disasters like hurricanes. If a hurricane hits I would be unsure of what would happen to my people.

[p4k] Evaluating Ayiti 

The game Ayiti fits all the requirements of an interesting game. In this game the goal is to make money for a particular family. But there are many obstacles. One of these obstacles is that the family keepsgetting sick or an injury occurs thus creating the Conflict and Uncertainty in the game. This game allows us choices - either we are to continue working and ignore an injury or go to the hospital and pay money [which is an obstacle to this poor family

These things created much interest in the game.

[p4k] 5 elements of Ayiti 

biggrin.gifGoal: Provide a good life for the family.
cool.gifCore Mechanic: Go to school, work.
huh.gifSub goal: Get an education.
mellow.gifUncertainty: You dont know what is going to happen to your family.
mad.gifConflict: One season you get money the next you lose a lot of money.
laughing.gifIt is clear that you have to get an education and money to survive.

[p4k] Ayiti - The Five Elements 

The 5 elements in the game Ayiti are:
Core Mechanic - Deciding which family member should go to school, work, or rest at home.
Goal - Try to make a good living for the family.
Sub Goal - Helping the family survive.
Uncertainy - You don't know if the family is going to survive.
Conflict - The family is low on money and there is very little education.

[p4k] Blog Assignment - Deconstruct Ayiti 

The blog assignment for P4K students: Deconstruct the game Ayiti. What are the five elements including core mechanic, goal, sub-goal, uncertainty and conflict? Give some examples of meaningful play in Ayiti.

[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.

[blog] The New Media Literacies Project on Ayiti 

I was checking out one of Henry Jenkin's projects, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, when I was delighted to come across a blog entry, on their New Media Literacies Project site, entitled, "The Cost of Life? Expensive".

The excellent piece began with a reflection on our summer camp in Second Life but quickly expands into an excellent analysis of the game, which conclude: It is a fairly amazing feat to generate such a strong feeling of sympathy and responsibility in a short web-based game. It will be, I suspect, a valuable tool for classroom learning, as well as personal reflection.

Read it all at: or below

I was reading a post by Barry Joseph to the new Macarthur Spotlight blog, which tracks news about crossovers between digital media and learning. The post itself is rather interesting, an attempt to distill what was learned from a kind of global summer camp held in virtual world Second Life into a list of best practices for virtual education initiatives. Definitely check it out.

[blog] Best Succint Description of Ayiti 

Dani, at her blog Straddling the Century Line, has written one of our favorite descriptions yet of our game, Ayiti:

[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: