Playing 4 Keeps

[pfk] Creating Games About Poverty in Haiti 

The Games for Change site recently posed the question: Can video games designed by kids create the next generation of activists against poverty? And then follows that up by spotlighting Ayiti, the Cost of Life.

Read the article here

[blog] Ayiti vs. The Sims 

Pablo Moreno-Ger's blog about "why and how e-learning should be fun" offers an interesting comparison between the consumerism of The Sims and the impoverished conditions of Ayiti:

The follow post is reprinted from:

Ayiti vs. The Sims

I would like to post a brief reflection on the game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, which was recently brought by my attention by a friend.

Not an educational game, but rather a serious game with a specific message, Ayiti puts you in control of a family trying to survive in Haiti. The player assigns tasks to the members of the family (go to hospital to improve health, get some education at school, work at the family farm, get a job, etc.) and all these tasks have an impact on aspects such as "Happines", "Health" and "Education". You can see the progress of the three needs in bars that fill with care and empty with time.

Ignore the setting for a moment. Think of the actual gameplay based on giving slices of time to different activities in an attempt to keep a number of mood variables high. Yes, correct, we are talking of the best-selling PC game "The Sims".

[p4k] Peace and Justice in Today's Program 

Today, the Playing 4 Keeps youth leaders talking about peace and justice and then built billboards about it in Second Life.

When we brainstormed the word "peace" they listed the first things that came to mind:
love, workshops, friendship, cooperation, gang violence, race, kindness, Sunday dinner, calm, care hippies, safety, harmony, religion, discrimination, truce, Peace Boat, flowers, and unity

When we brainstormed the word "justice" they listed:
Justice League, Martin Luther King, revenge, liars, lawyers, Malcolm X, suing, batman, freedom, black panthers, freedom fighters, police, order, second life, courts, America, superheroes, security, leader, sheriff, police, Public Enemy, judges, law, a right, handcuffs, civil rights, jail, Brooklyn, Global Kids, and peace

We then learned how to build billboards above peace and justice - here is a photo with billboards from both P4K and the Machinima program:

[teem/p4k] GK as an Humanitarian Effort 

Global Kids is an innovative program which allows kids to learn about global issues while
enjoying themselves. These programs allow kids to express their opinions and contribute
to a growing humanitarian movement amongst people in the world.

[teen/p4k] Using Second Life in P4K 

second life is fun
I really enjoy playing on it and meeting new people
its really addicting. Once you play it, you'll never want to get off.

[blog, blog, blog] Ayiti in the Blogosphere 

  1. From Kotaku: (a gaming blog with almost 6,000 links from other blogs, according to Technorati)

    "Students at South Shore High School in North Carolina have been passing up normal after school activities for video games...though not to play them. For the past year they've been meeting after school in order to develop meaningful video games with messages attached. It's all part of a program that melds game development with social awareness, and with the help of Global Kids and local developer Gamelab their first game has just been released online. Called "Ayiti: The Cost of Life," it puts the player in control of a family of five poor Haitians in what can best be described as a family management sim.

    As you can imagine, the game is dreadfully depressing. You deal with bad weather, low income, hunger, etc. as you desperately try to keep the family alive. It's not fun, but I suppose that was the point. It shows a level of social awareness you certainly wouldn't expect in a group of American high school students. I think the program a brilliant way to mix gaming and learning with extremely positive results. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go borrow a Zoloft."

[teen/p4k] Meeting people from around the world 

Something great about Second Life is that you can interact with Second Life members from around the world.

[teen/p4k] 2 much fun 

2 day was fun talking 2 people while playing the Global Kids workshop in Second Life "avatar scavenger hunt." If you don't know about Second Life you should try learning about it.

[blog] Future-making Series Games Publishes an Excellent Overview of Ayiti 

Once again, Eliane Alhadeff, on her excellent blog, has focused her attention on Global Kids' programs. This time around, she reviews Ayiti, both the game the program that produced it, and incorporates and responds to some recent crtiques of the game,

Educational serious games are on the rise. Recent years have seen the development of games in which the player tries to dispense food in a war zone, tries to make peace between Israel and Palestine, tries to escape warlords in Darfur, and much more. But even in this pack of progressive educational tools, Ayiti stands out.

read more here.

[p4k] Global Kids Gaming Program Cited As One of the Top 100 Big Things 

The Newsletter YouthLearn cites the Global Kids gaming program as one of the top 100 big things in regards to Youth, Education & Technology!

YouthLearn Newsletter, Issue 100 - November 21, 2006
Special Issue: YouthLearn's 100 Big Things in Youth, Education & Technology

As we record this milestone of our 100th newsletter on the eve of our fifth year here at EDC, we thought it might be fun to try to identify 100 "Big Things" (innovations, opportunities, challenges, heroes, etc.) that have had an impact on youth, education, and technology in the past 5 years. As a disclaimer, this list is by no means intended to be definitive or remotely scientific, but perhaps a chance to think about what truly drives our work and how to influence it moving forward for another 5 years and beyond.

View the YouthLearn Newsletter online for the 100 "Big Things".