Playing 4 Keeps

[Press] South Shore Release Party for Ayiti a Big Success 

We were thrilled with the turn-out yesterday at the South Shore launch party for our new game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life. Over 50 people attended the event, heard from the students, the game developers, and the school's administration. After eating some yummy food we went to the computer lab and player the game. A number of reporters were present, so we look forward to blogging their coverage soon.

At the end of the event, I asked one of the Playing 4 Keeps youth leaders how it felt showing-off the game to so many of her peers. She said, "It felt like being you." I asked, "What does it feel like to be me?" She replied, referring to the role designated for Global Kids staff who work with teens, "To be a Trainer."

Check out below some of the photos taken during the event. To see more click here.

[P4K] First Ayiti Partner Launches 

Global Kids is proud to announce that Ayiti: The Cost of Life is now available through out first partner, UNICEF and their youth-site Voices of Youth.

Check it out here.

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

Global Kids Launches Comprehensive Digital Media Initiative and Announces Release of New Online Game Produced with Gamelab

Initiative funded by MacArthur Foundation trains youth to be critical media consumers; New Microsoft-supported online game will educate thousands about global poverty

NEW YORK – October 19, 2006 - Global Kids, Inc., the foremost nonprofit in New York City specifically dedicated to educating students in underserved communities about international affairs, civic engagement and global literacy through school-based programs and the use of the Internet, today announced the roll out of its Digital Media Initiative (DMI), a program that trains youth to be both critical media consumers and producers through a series of development programs.

[P4K] Ayiti: The Cost of Life Educational Support Material 

Global Kids developed two workshops in association with our game Ayiti: The Cost of Life.

The first workshop is designed as a tool for helping youth process their experience after playing the game. The second workshop can be conducted either before playing the game, as a way to introduce students to the game’s issues, or after playing the game, as a way to help them better understand the links between poverty and access to education. Both workshops offer a number of actions youth can take to make a difference in the real world.


  • Lesson Plans
  • Child Alert Report
  • Haiti Map

    If you would like to receive updates about the game and lesson plans, please sign-up below.

  • [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: