Playing 4 Keeps

Level Up!, designed for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, is a week-long summer intensive that will train youth in basic game design, global literacy, and how to combine the two into a serious game design addressing a critical social issue.

We blogged about the launch of our new Playing 4 Keep summer camp Level Up! back in April, but it's great to see the word getting out across the web.

Video Games for a Better Tomorrow 

NBC New York had a great write up recently of Global Kids' Playing 4 Keeps program in conjunction with the New York Public Library.

Read the article below or here.

Students Design "Serious" Video Games to Deal with Global Issues
By Jillian Scharr

Video games for a better tomorrow

Video games can get a bad rap from parents and teachers who see them as a distraction from serious study. But students at three New York public libraries, however, are part of an after-school program designing “serious video games”
The program, called “Playing 4 Keeps,” is one of the many after-school programs at the 67th Street and Countee Cullen libraries in Manhattan and Clason’s Point in the Bronx.

For twenty weeks during the school year, students and librarians discuss various global issues and then play a “serious video game” on the subject.  Each library group also designs an original game dealing with a topic of their choice.

Last year, the “Playing 4 Keeps” program’s pilot run, design topics included global warming, drug trafficking on Long Island, and media conglomeration.

Global Kids at Games for Change 2010 

This week has been all a-Buzz with the 7th annual Games for Change festival (G4C) and Global Kids has been in the midst of things presenting, interviewing and covering some of the great content at this year's G4C.

Below is a recap of some of Global Kids' G4C highlights:




This week is the 7th annual Games for Change (G4C) Festival and Global Kids has been busy with speaking at the conference, along with bringing youth to present and conduct interviews of speakers and attendees.

One of the panels Barry Joseph led for G4C brought together some of the amazing partners and people that have been part of Global Kids' Playing for Keep (P4K) program.

You can watch a video of the panel below or directly on YouTube - enjoy!

Below are the photos, taken by Christopher Duggan and shared here with his permission, from the Global Kids' "Spreading Serious Game Design" Panel at Games For Change, May 24th, 2010.

The Full Panel

Global Kids "Spreading Serious Game Design" Panel at Games For Change 

This afternoon the following presentation will be used (poorly converted by Slideshare, yet convenient) by some amazing individuals and institutions. Here's a preview:

The panel featured Global Kids' Barry Joseph feature a panel with the following individuals:

Playing for Keeps Spring Program Begins! 

P4K teens w Kyle Li
During the month of May, a team of Global Kids teen leaders are participating in an exciting new Playing for Keeps program, challenging the teens to conduct video interviews with digital game developers on the subject of serious games. This project is part of our larger plan to scale up our serious gaming program to reach many, many more teens around the world.

So far our teens have met twice and are already becoming more adept at understanding serious games, conducting a professional interview with an adult, and coordinating the entire video production process. Read on for more details about this new Playing for Keeps Spring project...

Global Kids at the 7th Annual Games for Change Festival May 24-27 

From May 24 - 27 is the seventh annual Games for Change Festival happening at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City (and partly at NYU.) This is THE gathering for gamemakers, nonprofits, educators and academics interested in serious games, games-based learning and educational gaming. And Global Kids is going to be present in a few different capacities.

On May 24, at 2:45pm, Global Kids will be organizing a panel on "Spreading Serious Game Design: Global Kids' Playing For Keeps Capacity Building Program" about our ground-breaking serious game design program Playing for Keeps.

Then on May 25th, several Global Kids teen leaders will be on-hand to conduct a series of video interviews with gamemakers as part of the new Playing for Keeps Online Curriculum. (If you are interested in being interviewed at G4C, contact

Finally on May 26, at 4:30pm, OLP Director Barry Joseph will be speaking on "Power of Design - Youth Created Games" Panel.

There are many more fantastic sessions, speakers, demos and networking that happens during the festival. It's not too late to register online.

Boy Scouts Create "Gaming Pin" around Consumerism, Fear and Regulation 

Boyscout video_games_pin Global Kids has been working in the field of serious games and games based learning for several years, directly with young people in New York City, and with several other institutions like the New York Public Library and the Field Museum of Chicago.  We love digital games and what they can afford for young people, informally and in a structured environment.

The Amazing Interface at the Eldridge Street Synagogue

Since 2001 I have worked at Global Kids thinking about supporting youth to leverage the informal learning they acquire through digital game play. Throughout the years I have had the honor of working with many of the key academics and researchers advocating for games-based learning. One of the key skills I have developed, and which we now try to support other educators to develop, is the ability to know games-based literacies when they see them because, if we can’t see it, we can’t support their development.


These past six months, my son, Akiva, who turns four next week, has introduced digital gaming into his life. He does not play digital media at school, nor with his friends. At home, I am the primary person who introduces and plays digital games with him. As a result, I have had the unique opportunity to watch him clearly develop his own games-based literacies.