Playing 4 Keeps

[blogs] Recent blogs on Ayiti 

WIth our recent talk at the Living Game Worlds conference in Atlanta and the at the National Service Learning Conference, a spat of blog entries on Ayiti have sprung up. Here are a few:

The following, from a review of constructivist learning and games, writes of both Ayiti and Darfur is Dying:

These two games are the most exceptional simulations/games I have come across yet. I believe that these games are beneficial for students of all ages (elementary school to college). These two games require playing the games several times to figure out the strategies involved. However, by playing the game several times the students come to the realization that it is not their ability to play the game well that is affecting their ability to excel at the game. The students must use the knowledge obtained about these areas of the world and combine with higher order thinking skills to make the connection that the purpose of these games are to illustrate the difficulty of surviving in these regions.

[blog] Reflections on Ayiti 

An interesting blog entry about Ayiti: The Cost of Life recently came from a blog entitled "Once in the morning sunlight...Take a moment to reflect on the World." In it the author, Nenya, talks about her thoughts on playing the game.

You can read her heartfelt entry below:

I'm probably going to post something about this on my other blog, as well, but from a different perspective.

Has anyone ever tried ? A little game for anyone to play, and reach one simple conclusion: the poor can achieve very moderate success in life, and may be reduced to living in pityful conditions if they should make the slightest mistake, or encounter the slightest unforeseen hardship.

[web] Overview of Ayiti: The Cost of LIfe 

This is a remarkably comprehensive overview of the game, its educational resources, and the process it took to create it.

Read the post here.

[blog] Educator blogs in New Zealand use Ayiti 

Due to a recent visit through New Zealand by TakingITglobal, at least two educators are blogging the use of Ayiti by their students. Check them out:

[exhibit] Ayiti Included in Ithaca Film Festival 

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF), in Ithaca, New York, has a special section on games this year, and Ayiti has been included.

They describe the Festival as a" one-week multimedia inter-arts extravaganza that reboots the environment and sustainability into a larger global conversation, embracing issues ranging from labor, war, health, disease, music, intellectual property, fine art, software, remix culture, economics, archives, AIDS, women's rights, and human rights. This year's festival will focus on new content streams: Maps and Memes, Metropoli, Panic Attacks, and Soundscaping."

Their Digital Art and Gaming Salon is described as such: "Don't miss our Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival digital art and gaming salon, running throughout the festival in 220 Park Hall in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. Computer stations in this festival lounge area will feature the work of this year's digital artists and game designers. Drop by and let these innovative works rewire and recode your preconceptions about the environment,
digitality, and sustainability."

Check it out here.

[web] PC Magazine's site features Ayiti 

In their own words: "AppScout is brought to you by the editors and analysts of PC Magazine, who scour the world in search of the best software, sites, and Web apps. We're reporting on it all: the killer apps, the crazy startups, the useful (or just gimmicky) Web sites, and the beta software that crashes our machines. And we love to give advice, so ask away!"

Here's what they had to say:

From UNICEF, Gamelab, and Global Kids comes a web-based game that feels like Oregon Trail with a heavy dose of global social awareness. Ayiti: The Cost of Life puts you in control of a Haitian family of five over the course of four years. You must try to strike a balance between health, happiness, and education, while still having enough money to maintain survival. Is this easy? Of course not. If not for the game's chipper sound effects and almost uncomfortably cute graphics, this would be a sure winner for the Web's Most Depressing Flash-Based Game. Can you keep your entire family from dying in poverty of diphtheria? Probably not. Consider yourself lucky you, internet-enabled mouse-clicking person, can have the option of reloading and trying again.

Read their write-up here.

[web] We got DIGGED! 

Ayiti: the Cost of Life got DIGGED. And, not only that but the digg has spurred a wide array of comments from people. One commenter even explains how to hack the game so you can play it offline and make yourself rich (in the game, of course).

Check our Digg out here.


[p4k] Game-testers Respond to Ayiti 

Sure, we know what people PLAYING Ayiti have had to say... but what about professional game testers?

Global Kids heard from someone at a game testing company (or perhaps a game testing division within a larger company) who report what the testers said TO THEIR SCREEN while playing Ayiti this week:

"What? Sick? I don't care.. get yer butt to work".

"You've been resting all season! How can you still be sick"

"Look.. he's crying... oh, dyptheria, no wonder"

"Oh crap I'm broke and they are all sick"

"Well I could sacrifice one kid working him to death and get one educated."

[award] Playing 4 Keeps Named An Adobe Youth Voices Project of Change 

Global Kids' was delighted to be selected as one of the new Adobe Youth Voices' Project of Change. More details will follow over time. For now, here is their description of the project:

Listen Up! -with the support of Adobe Youth Voices -is proud to recognize exemplary projects created by young people. Each of these outstanding projects were made possible through a unique set of processes, signature pedagogies and best practices in youth media education designed by their sponsoring organizations. The Projects of Change website aims to uncover the process behind this product and to better understand the contexts in which progressive media education takes place within youth media organizations.


A new report, "Afterschool for the Global Age," produced by Asia Society and The George Lucas Educational Foundation, features Global Kids work as an example of best practices developing global education, both in person and online.

Learning Locally, Connecting Globally

Global Kids is a New York City basednonprofi t that works with youth after school and online to build digital literacy,foster substantive virtual dialogues about current events, and promote civic participation through interactive games. Global Kids holds in-person and online youth conferences, including roundtables and summer institutes at the Council on Foreign Relations as well as online in Teen Second Life. A multiplayer virtual reality environment, Second Life users from around the globe interact within an online community. Global Kids students create action campaigns to educate Second Life participants about global issues. Global Kids students also create educational video games, such as Ayiti: The Cost of Life, in which players learn about poverty by taking responsibility for a family in rural Haiti.