Playing 4 Keeps

[conf] The Future Is Invading! at this year's GLS 4.0 

Global Kids own Barry Joseph will be speaking at the upcoming Games Learning & Society Conference 4.0, July 10-11. This admittedly engaging and fun conference is about real-life people playing real-life video games, and what they learn from doing that. The attendees are always a great mix of academics, educators & designers all interested in games and how they can enhance learning, culture, and education.

Info on Barry's panel:

The Future Is Invading! or Games as Youth Media: A 6 Year Review

In 2002, Global Kids (GK) in New York City first began its efforts treating games as a form of youth media. Rather than treat games strictly as a tool for developing technical or workplace skills, GK sought to determine if both gameplay and game design could be used to develop the skills necessary for youth to become empowered and impassioned global citizens and community leaders.

[p4k] The Final Week 

Well, this was it, the final week of P4K. It was bittersweet, of course. On one hand it meant we’d accomplished what we set out to do and I couldn’t be happier with how things went. On the other hand, there were some goodbyes that might be forever.

I didn’t plan too much for the workshop, just letting those who weren’t at G4C play the new beta and having everyone fill out the end of the year survey. For a moment I dared to be sentimental in front of everybody, but that mood was soundly squashed by constant giggling and video game sound effects. Silly me; our group can do many things, but reminisce isn’t one of them.

Still, it was a great afternoon and I was sorry to see everyone walk out of the computer lab one last time. This was my first time facilitating Playing 4 Keeps and my first time working with high school students since being one of them. The experience was humbling (as well as exhausting, frustrating, and confusing).

[blog] G4C Conference - post blog coverage 

There have been a ton of buzz in the blogosphere, post Games 4 Change conference, and some of it on the sneak peak of our new game Tempest and still others praising Ayiti: The Cost of LIfe. We will add to this list as we find more coverage.

Marcia Stepanek of Stanford's Social Innovation review, writes her thoughts here.

Educational Games Commons thoughts on the event.

Bart Pursel of Virtual Learning Worlds, writes his reflection here.

Aimee Martin on her blog focusing on Educational Technology, writes about G4C here.

[p4k] AMD launches "Changing the Game" campaign 

AMD's "Changing the Game" online ad campaign is now live at This campaign features Global Kids' Playing 4 Keeps game program and will also be running in upcoming issues of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Austin American Statesman.

Check out some of the images below. We will also update as more of the campaign as it is released.

Ayiti: The Cost of Life

Ayiti: The Cost of Life

Ayiti: The Cost of Life

[media] Playing 4 Keeps' Hurricane Katrina Game in NY1 Story on G4C 

On June 4th, 2008, NY1 did an excellent piece on the 5th annual Games For Change Festival. Global Kids is never mentioned but two of the Global Kids Youth Leaders, one staff member, and our latest game - Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City - appears twice!

Check it out below.

[media] Fortune magazine: games are on education's cutting edge 

David Kirkpatrick, senior editor of Fortune magazine who moderated "Youth-Created Games for Change" panel at Games For Change this past Wed gives a forceful thumbs up to the assertions presented by Barry Joseph about the importance of teaching game development to youth. Thanks David!

Barry Joseph, another panelist, directs a program for a New York-based group called Global Kids. "When we started doing this the idea of using games as a way to work with kids wasn't accepted," he says, with understatement. Numerous speakers at the conference told me they still frequently encounter educators and other adults who are appalled at the very notion of using games in education. One speaker said game partisans were treated almost as if they were bringing porn into the classroom.

Joseph has been fighting that prejudice for years. Often working against the educational infrastructure, his program, Playing 4 Keeps, has nonetheless orchestrated groups of Brooklyn high school students and professional game designers to create a number of polished games. One, about poverty in the developing world, is called Ayiti: The Cost of Life. The group built another called Consent, focusing on discrimination in medical care faced by African-Americans in jail. It was created in the teenager-only virtual world Teen Second Life.

[p4k] Games 4 Change 

This was a great week at Playing 4 Keeps; we finally got to see a fully functional demo of our game and then we were able to show it to the public the next day. Monday we play tested the beta and dissected its features and details. There are a lot of things about the game the class likes, but also (like with every demo) a lot of things that need changing. Even with the criticism, however, it was very exciting to see our game–which had been an abstract idea for so long–finally alive on screen. Our leaders have a lot to be proud of, and they know it.

Tuesday, ten of us went to Games 4 Change to see what’s happening in the world of serious gaming and show off what we’ve been working on. The conference was really interesting this year, but sometimes I thought the dessert table was our group’s favorite part. They stayed civil, though, even when not always interested in the various funding strategies available to non-profits making games.

[Conf] 2008 Games for Change conference - GK presentations 

This week was the 2008 annual Games for Change (G4C) conference that took place in New York. Barry Joseph presented at two of the conference's panels and even if you didn't get a chance to attend, you can view his presentations below.

Once the media files are released from the G4C conference, we will be adding audio to the below presentations - so make sure to check back. Feel free to download the original files from Slideshare and use for your own purposes but if you decide to modify them please reference Global Kids as the original source and make sure to let us know what sort of changes you made. Enjoy!

Global Kids' Games as Youth Media: A Six Year Review

[media] AMD spotlighting Global Kids P4K gaming program 

Today was the public launch of AMD's awareness campaign of "Changing the Game", an educational focused initiative of the AMD foundation aimed at helping youth.


Harness the Power, Learn Life Skills
AMD Changing the Game, an initiative of the AMD Foundation, is designed to help youth at the middle and high school level harness the power of digital games with social content, while learning critical education and life skills. Through the process of developing and playing their own issue-themed games, AMD Changing the Game participants will develop essential skills in science, technology, engineering, and math, also known as STEM skills.

At the same time, students will explore critical thinking, problem solving, project leadership, and contemporary themes of social responsibility. Attention to these critical developmental areas will in turn help participants expand their future educational and professional opportunities as citizens of the 21st Century.

Next week, Advanced Micro Devices plans to announce a project designed to teach kids how to build video games that promote social causes such as fighting poverty or protecting the environment. Called Changing the Game, the project will fund nonprofit organizations that inspire kids with video games, and it will develop curriculum for youth to build their own software for games. Changing the Game is the first initiative funded by the chipmaker's newly formed AMD Foundation, a grant-making organization.

The above is the first paragraph from C/NET's coverage of what we can only presume will begin a slew of articles about the exciting announcement about the new AMD Foundation. Global Kids is thrilled to be amongst the first recipients of this forward-thinking program.

When Global Kids first began using games as a form of youth media nearly five years ago, few understood or respected what we were trying to do. But one glance at the ad copy from the new campaign's landing site suggests that what were once fringe ideas might be set to cross into the mainstream - "AMD Changing the Game helps kids enhance their professional and educational skill sets, learn bout civics and citizenship, develop a global perspective, and enhance their ability to contribute solutions to the social issues most relevant to their lives."