Playing 4 Keeps

[Press] Recent Press on Ayiti: The Cost of Life 

People have been saying some interesting things about Ayiti out in the blogosphere. Check out some of the recent articles/sites below.

  • "Teachers always talk about preparing students for the future, while many times teaching students today like they themselves were taught in the past. Given the “real world” becomes more and more “virtual” every day, perhaps it's time to make peace with our own nostalgic longing for the past, be more attentive to the present, and come together on how we can engage students in more real-world educational situations and simulations. " Virtual worlds improve the real world?
  • "I think the feeling some folks have that games are inappropriate for certain subject matter has to do with a high/low divide. Would you say that one shouldn't make a movie about Darfur or write a novel about it? Games are young medium, but they have the same possibility to transform people's ideas about the world as older mediums like film." Ayiti: Cost of Life

[Press] Russia News Loves Ayiti Game 

In July, we received the following email from Natasha Sharapova, an executive producer of NTV - Russia's New York Bureau. They describe themselves as "the largest non-governmental TV-network in Russia. It covers the audience of approx. 100 million people in countries of
former Soviet Union. It is also the main Russian language channel broadcasted all over the world via satellite."

So anyway, they wrote the following:

The reason I am contacting you is that NTV, one of the major broadcastingcompanies in Russia, is probing an idea to make a story about new generation of educational computer games and in regards to this would be very interested to do a segment about "Ayiti: The Cost of Life" project of Global Kids.

At this moment we just want to make a preliminary inquiry to figure out if you'll be interested to work with us on this project. If we decide to embark on the story it will involve talking to young people who helped develop this game. We'd also need a demo of the game to include in the program.

Well, after an early August interview, and nothing for two months, today we received a DVD of the broadcast. Now if only someone who speaks Russian could translate it and tell us what they are saying!

[Press] Ayiti Featured in Premiere Podcast from Cisco 

Ayiti is featured in the premiere podcast from Cisco.

Cisco? The tech company?

Yup, that's right. It must be a branding thing. They describe their new series, "All Together Now," as "a biweekly podcast series highlighting digital innovation and how the network transforms everyday life experiences. Hear inspiring stories from people who are using technology to create, connect, and thrive globally."

I guess that means Global Kids is seen as a digital innovator. Sweet. Overall, it's a good piece about Games For Change and I don't come across sounding like a complete dolt. However, once again, they failed to mention our partner, Gamelab, or funder, Microsoft. (maybe the next piece...)

Listen to all of it or jump right to 4:15 for the two minutes I spoke about the relationship between teens making games and 21st Century Learning Skills.

From August 22-23, U.S. Partners in Learning Mid Tier Grantees (43 leaders representing 11 U.S. non-profit organizations) gathered in Redmond to dive deeper into scaling, evaluation, and sustainability issues at the Mid Tier Working Session II. The goal of U.S. PiL Mid Tier grants is to demonstrate how technology is a powerful tool in scaling education innovations. The day-and-a-half working session took place in Redmond and was facilitated by Allyson Knox, U.S. PiL Academic Program Manager; Dr. Chris Dede, Harvard professor and Mid Tier consultant; and Saul Rockman, president of Rockman et al and Mid Tier evaluation consultant. Grantees participated in thematic panel discussions on topics such as: "Risk Takers - Major Model Shifts to Achieve Scale," "Bringing 21st Century Skills to Life," and "Emerging Technologies to Achieve Scale." The U.S. PiL National Advisory Council members met with the Mid Tier grantees over dinner at the Microsoft Visitor's Center to share best practices, learn more about individual and collective Mid Tier projects, and simply celebrate this vibrant and innovative learning community. One Mid Tier grantee commented, "Many thanks for putting together such a power-packed-and pleasurable-meeting. I found it very valuable as did everyone else I talked with! Bravo!"

[P4K] Theodore's Journal from his Trip to Microsoft 

Theodore’s Travel Journal

Trip with Global Kids’ Playing 4 Keeps to the Microsoft Corporation

8-21-06 - NYC

Today I feel so happy because I am going to Seattle. I am getting kind of scared though because I was never on a plane but I wish I could go through this because I have to face my fears. I did not go to sleep yesterday. I was so excited I left my sweater at my house. That a bummer, isn’t it? But I don’t really need it because I checked the weather and it looks nice. I hope I meet Bill Gates. He is like my cousin. I hope he can give P4K that X-Box 360. I would be so happy.

8-22-06 - Seattle, before meeting

Today I am feeling good. I had a good sleep last night. I felt like a king. I wish we can sleep more but that’s work for you. You can’t expect anything more than waking up early. My goals for today are to call my mom and wish her a happy birthday. Also just to get through today without sleeping in the meeting. Another personal goal is that I should write in my journal so I can be on point.

[P4K] Time Magazine on Ayiti: The Cost of Life 

Time Magazine published the article "Do-Gooder Games," which covered a number of other games which were also visible at the Games For Change conference last June.

The article begins:

    Activist video games--which use whiz-bang formats to address real-world issues--are scoring high with both kids and teachers. Given the success of the U.N.'s aid-relief game Food Force (with more than 4 million downloads in 15 months) and the MTV-affiliated Darfur Is Dying (more than 800,000 players since April), techno do-gooders are proliferating, and gamers are saving the world.

Ayiti was going to be covered but, due to space limitations, was cut the day before printing. But due to a very suportive reporter, the article on the Web site includes the section on Ayiti as it was planned to run. It reads:

[P4K] Newsweek Article Features Socially Conscious Games 

Newsweek Magazine ran an online exclusive declaring that "activist games are starting to get some big-time attention" and they cite Global Kids' game on Haiti as being a prime example.

To read the full article, click here.

[P4K] "The World" Covers the Games for Change Conference 

Technology consultant, Clark Boyd, reporting for Public Radio International's The World radio show, a co-production of BBC, PRI, and WGBH, covered the recent Games for Change conference in New York City.

Within his coverage, he spotlights the Playing 4 Keeps game:

"It was a really interesting exposition of some different games that are out there, some of these serious games, and they range from a group of school kids in New York City who went about creating a game that lets you play a Haitian family, living in Haiti, and trying to not fall into poverty...they also try to keep the games open ended enough that different outcomes can result"

Listen to the full broadcast here.

[P4K] Video Game Designers Tackle Real World Problems 

Adam Phillips, writing for ‘Voice of America - Our World’, reported on the upcoming Global Kids, Playing 4 Keeps game focusing on Haiti, at the Games for Change conference that took place New York City.

An excerpt from his article is below.

The Games 4 Change conference also highlighted ways young people are being empowered to design their own game. At Global Kid's Playing 4 Keeps, an after school program in one New York City high school, students work with professional game designers to create a game based on a global issue of their choice.

Student designers in the afterschool Playing for Keeps program tackled the problems of life for Haiti's poor people in their video game.

[P4K] Business Week Mentions the Playing 4 Keeps Game 

A recent Business Week article mentioned our Playing 4 Keeps game in development, using its earlier title:Four Years in Haiti.

"A tiny handful of activist games are currently sponsored by corporations who recognize that an activist game can be a powerful marketing tool, at a time when social entrepreneurship and corporate philanthropy are making headlines... Microsoft (MSFT) funded another recent activist game, Four Years in Haiti, about poverty-stricken children in the Caribbean country and their struggles to find the resources to go to school. All of these big-brand sponsors benefit from associating themselves with a good cause."

To read the article in full click here.