Playing 4 Keeps

[P4K] Ayiti featured at the Margaret Mead Film Festival 

Ayiti: The Cost of Life was recently featured at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. Alongside a number of other games including Darfur is Dying and A Force More Powerful, Ayiti helped to flush out the panel on video games with an activist bent. The panel was organized by Games for Change, the organization that leads the field of social change through digital gaming.

One might be wondering, "Why are there games at a documentary film festival?" This is a valid question. Games are undeniably not films. However, some video games (and the number grows each day) are in fact documentaries. Video games with real world content, like Ayiti and others like it, reflect a natural outgrowth of the medium that reflects what is actually happening in the world. A similar thing happened to film in the 1970's, when documentary film changed the way that people looked at the medium of film and its potentials. As opposed to being a fluke, it's likely that this isn't the last time you'll hear about games at film festivals. In fact, we know it's not. : )

[sl/p4k/mac] They Found Each Other! 

It amazes me that I can still be amazed by Second Life. After eleven months in this space you would think we would have experienced it all by now. But no...

Yesterday we took the Playing 4 Keeps students into Second Life for the first time. You can read what Lithelson had to say about it, even though his TSL account was not available until this morning. Then this afternoon we took the machinima students in to Second Life for the first time.

Okay, that's it. End of day. Time to go home.

At home, I needed to go into TSL to work on the Darfur Photo exhibit. However, I was not in for ten seconds when I received one, two, then a third IM, from that number of GK Leaders. They were all teens from the Machinima program, that I had just left a few hours earlier. One by one they were logging in, I presume from home.

I found where most were gathering, where I last left them, at the entrance to the maze. And there was another GK Leader, Lithelson, the one from Playing 4 Keeps. There he was standing in front of me, surrounded by other "Gkids", none knowing who the others were.

I explained that all Gkids, who are not staff, are other Global Kids Leaders. Then they met each other.

[p4k] GK Leader Presents to World Educational Officials at Microsoft Summit 

P4K Leader DeWayne travelled to Phildalelphia to present along with Barry Joseph at Microsoft's Wide World Summit. More information to come. But, in the meantime, here is a photo of DeWayne arriving at the hotel to learn his was the official Guest of the Day! As a result, they upgraded him to one of the largest rooms in the hotel.

[teen/p4k] The Inner World of Second Life 

Today in Playing 4 Keeps we went into Second Iife. I learned how to do some basic things with an avatar such as: walking, chatting, flying, trading friendship cards, using a map, teleporting to where ever I want and dressing up my avatar. Even though I haven't play it yet from what I have seen so far, in my point of view, I could say that's a fun inner world to be in. Do me a favor - to who ever is reading this- just check it out. Trust me, you'll like it!!!!!!!!!!

[podcast] MediaSnackers Podcast Features Global Kids 

We were delighted recently to be featured on the podcast MediaSnackers, a wonderful series that focuses on innovative new media producers for a free-form ten minutes or so interview. They describe themselves as "a site/weblog/project/call to action for people interested in how young people consume and create media across the globe." This is a lovely piece that allowed us not just to give an overview of our programs but explore some of the larger implications of our work.

Listen to it here.

[pr] GK presents at Microsoft's World Wide School of the Future 

For Immediate Release:

Media Contacts: Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, Inc.: 646-354-3657

Online Game Developed by Minority Youth in Brooklyn Will Educate Thousands about Global Poverty and Education at

In After School Program Conducted By Global Kids, Inc. and Gamelab, and Funded by Microsoft, Students Learn about Global Issues and work with Professional Game Developers

New York, NY, November 15, 2006 - Global Kids, Inc., the foremost nonprofit in New York City dedicated to educating urban youth about international affairs, and Gamelab, New York City's largest game development company, announce the release of the exciting online game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life (, which uses the location of Haiti to educate players about the obstacles to education faced by children in developing countries. When distributed and used within either a classroom or after school setting, the game will be a strong tool for building students' global awareness and civic literacy.

[print] Congressional Quarterly Researcher Cites GK in Game Report 

Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Researcher is a weekly non-partisan journal that provides in-depth coverage on critical issues of current affairs. First published in 1923, it is associated with the daily Congressional Quarterly, whose readership includes 95 percent of the members of Congress.

The most recent issue of CQ Quarterly focuses on the question: "Video Games: Do They Have Educational Value?" This twenty-four page report offers an excellent overview of the issue. Global Kids is all over the report, so you'll have to download the lovely pdf and read it all for yourself. In general, the report cites our work in our Playing 4 Keeps program, in our Summer Camp in Second Life, and our leadership programs in that virtual world.

[teen/p4k] Why I like P4K 

I would like to create a game that expresses myself. P4k is a great program. I like being part of it.

[teen/p4k] How I feel about Global Kids 

Global Kids is great. It feels good to be here. I'm a great fan of games. I've been waiting to to get my own avatar in Second Life. I'm excited!

[teen/p4k] Games I Play 

The games I like are sports games like NBA live 06 and Madden 07.