Playing 4 Keeps

[p4k] A game topic: garbage, war 

What would happen if there was more garbage off the streets and more money donated to our community? What would happen if the President of the United States called off the war in Iraq?

[p4k] What I learned today, follow the leader 

When you are creating a game, you must have an ideas. The process is to make a prototype, then to playtest, and then there is more.

[p4k] Game topic: depression 

I pick the issue of depression because many people deal with depression and it affects everyone around them. I have had personal experiences with depression & it hurts everyone.

People may not notice but then it shows. People cut, starve and try to kill themselves from depression. This is life. What I learned today helped me because it shows the process of what you have to do to design the game.

[p4k] Topic for a video game: gang violence 

I would choose to make a game about gang violence because it is destroying a lot of communities and lives.

[p4k] Video Game: Teen Depression 

If I was given the job of designing a game around an issue that was important to me, I would choose teen depression. I would choose teen depression because one of my peers tends to become depressed and seeing her depressed puts me in a sad mood because she has an amazing smile that makes everyone in the room light up.

And what I learned today that would help me design a game is the process it would take for me to actually create and complete it.

[blog] Harnessing the Energy of Global Kids 

Amy Jussel writes at Shaping Youth, a blog about media and marketing's influence on kids, that if Al Gore wants to educate youth about Global Warming he should "harness the energy at Global Kids."

This extensive essay argues for the power of new media to oush ideas to youth people, with Global Kids work used as an example throughout. For example:

I figure if USA Today blogger Angela Gunn can feature Mia Farrow speaking on Darfur on Global Kids Island in Teen Second Life, and Mia Farrow can make inroads imparting the Darfur message on the main grid, it seems mainstream media is ready to make the leap toward embracing innovations in new media.

From Global Kids Island she later turns to our game, Ayiti:

Who would've EVER thought a glamorama fashionista pub like Marie Claire would be the first mainstream press to blurb a social impact survival game like "Ayiti: The Cost of Life!?"

They describe this Unicef project as "an addictive video game with a serious social message, where you're "responsible for a Haitian family's destiny as they struggle to make a living and get educated."

Talk about a mass media mindshiftŠMarie Claire? Clearly the backlash toward vapid values is building with forward momentum.

[blog] Blog Bonanza Day for Ayiti 

When we figure out why, we'll let you know, but today there have been a plethora of blog posts about Ayiti. These are just a few of the ones who simply didn't mimic the others.

It all began with the blog, Am I Grown Up Yet?, posting the following entry, which turned us on to the more than unexpected Marie Claire magazine coverage:

And you thought we had it tough.

As mentioned in this month’s Marie Claire magazine:

Having trouble saving money? Paying for your education? Finding a decent job?

Your life may seem hard, but believe me, it could be a lot worse. Just check out Ayiti: Cost of Life, a game created by UNICEF to demonstrate the difficulties that people in Haiti (and most likely many other developing countries) face. And keep in mind that as you play, 1 Haiti gourde (spelled goud in the game) is 1/37 of a US dollar.

A word of warning: This is about the hardest game of this type that I’ve ever seen. They’re going for realism, not user-friendliness. Give it a couple runs through and you’ll start to have a real appreciation for how difficult life can really be. This is definitely one game which is not “just a game.”

[print] Ayiti Becomes Marie Claire's Hot Spot 

We've been looking forward to the first print magazine to cover our game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life. We just never knew it would be Marie Claire:

"Logged on at your desk," they ask, "but trying to avoid actually working? Five hot spots to surf this month."

    Addictive video game meets serious social message in "Ayiti: The Cost of Life." You're responsible for a Haitian family's destiny as they struggle to make a living and get educated. Sounds simple, but this survival game, supported by UNICEF, is tougher than it looks.

[blog] Spanish Blog Promotes Ayiti 

A recent entry by Mateo Zlater from a Spanish blog promoting Ayiti. He seems to have misunderstood who created and produced the game, but we're happy for the game to get the attention.

The original post in Spanish:

Misión salvarse de la pobreza Diseño

Publicado por Mateo Zlatar @ 01:38 AM

Cómo es vivir en la pobreza rural y tratar de sobrevivir manteniéndose saludable, sin deudas y salir adelante, con algún grado de educación? Este es el tema de este juego online "Ayti: The cost of life" creado por Unicef para su sitio Voices of Youth.

Este juego de roles está ambientado en Haiti rural, y enseña mucho de la realidad que ahí se vive. Unicef comisionó a Gamelab, uno de los buenos estudios de diseño de juegos de Nueva York para realizar la pieza, con Jonah Warren (de feedtank) a la cabeza del team de programación.

El juego te pone en el lugar de esta familia y créeme que es MUY dificil sacarlos adelante. Es una realidad virtual sumamente realista.

A ver como te va: PLAY

The English translation from Google follows:

[p4k] Teens Reiterate Issues That Concern Them 

In yesterday's program, we asked the teens what issues were on their minds when they joined the program last year, issues that we might build a game around. Here is a list, in no particular order, of what they had to say:

    Sexism
    Sexual Harassment
    Gang Violence
    Disease
    Abuse
    Genocide
    Teen Depression
    Poverty
    Teen Prejudice
    Economics
    Human Trafficking
    Police Brutality
    Sanitation
    Education
    Baby Abuse
    Teen Pregnancy
    Human Rights
    Global Warming
    Drug Addiction
    Peer Pressure
    Sickness
    War
    Government