Playing 4 Keeps

[p4k] Washington, D.C. 

The trip to Washington, D.C. was a lot of fun, meeting all the Washington kids.
When we went to the Holocaust Museum I felt bad when I saw how many Jews died.
One of cool thing about the trip to D.C. was the hotel - nice big rooms (but not that much to watch on tv but its all good).

[p4k] Getting closer to a topic 

This week we did work refining our topic for our game. Earlier we had unanimous agreement to do a game about racism. But what about racism?

We spent the last few weeks prototyping games, just to learn how to prototype. The students made a game about a slave trying to escape to freedom in the north. Another group of students made a scavenger hunt about civil rights leaders.

This week we discussed the differences between institutional racism and racial prejudice, and then looked at institutional racism in a variety of settings. After we voted on what institution to focus on we found we had an even split between the health care industry and education.

To learn about the former, we listen to recent NPR radio interview with Harriet A. Washington, who published Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation On Black Americans From Colonial Times To The Present. We heard about horrific events from the times of slavery through to prisons today.

To learn about the later, we learned about something referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline, in which many youth of color are set up not to graduate but to enter the juvenile justice system.

[p4k] GK-authored article published in Threshold Magazine 

Global Kids had the honor of being invited to contribute an article about our work with our Playing 4 Keeps program to Threshold Magazine. The Spring 2007 issue of Threshold: Exploring the Future of Education features articles focused on taking educational innovation to scale, produced in partnership with the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF).

Click here to read the article, and here to read the whole issue.

[dmya/p4k/sl/nc/vvp] The First OLP Symposium 

On April 5th, 2007, thirty Global Kids leaders from five different Online Leadership Programs met each other for the first time at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens for the OLP Symposium. The teens toured the museum, presented the work from their programs, and participated in a panel for a Q&A.

The Playing 4 Keeps program began the day meeting with students and faculty at Parson's school of Design and Technology.

All of the students then met for lunch and then went to the museum. While the machinima students went to work on their final videos, the other programs - Newz Crew, Playing 4 Keeps, the Digital Media Youth Advisory, and GK in Second Life - went on tours of the Museum of the Moving Image, which hosted us for the day.

The students then gathered in the museums to show off the work from their projects.

Newz Crew
Anthony & Naama

Playing 4 Keeps
Syndie and Vladimyr

I had the pleasure of attending the 18th annual NYLC Service-Learning Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and brought along one of our finest GK youth, Nafiza, who is a student in our after-school Virtual Video Project program, to speak about our work in the virtual world of Second Life. I was also there to stream the conference into Second Life for the first time, and allowed teens in real-life to see teens in Second Life live during the opening plenary session. Everyone was curious about the teens they saw on the screens up on stage and were thrilled to know that those that were unable to attend the conference in New Mexico, were watching and listening in live from anywhere in the world.

For two days, we streamed the opening plenary session in the morning and a total of four workshops in the afternoon. We worked closely with the AV-Tech team, and the company that provided the Internet on-site. As a first timer to New Mexico, I was overwhelmed by the genuine smiles, hospitality and generosity by the folks there. We enjoyed cultural dances, Native Indian songs, Mexican food, and met with people from all walks of life. I talked to teens that were inspirational, and true leaders in the world of service-learning and volunteerism.

[blogs] Recent blogs on Ayiti 

WIth our recent talk at the Living Game Worlds conference in Atlanta and the at the National Service Learning Conference, a spat of blog entries on Ayiti have sprung up. Here are a few:

The following, from a review of constructivist learning and games, writes of both Ayiti and Darfur is Dying:

These two games are the most exceptional simulations/games I have come across yet. I believe that these games are beneficial for students of all ages (elementary school to college). These two games require playing the games several times to figure out the strategies involved. However, by playing the game several times the students come to the realization that it is not their ability to play the game well that is affecting their ability to excel at the game. The students must use the knowledge obtained about these areas of the world and combine with higher order thinking skills to make the connection that the purpose of these games are to illustrate the difficulty of surviving in these regions.

[blog] Reflections on Ayiti 

An interesting blog entry about Ayiti: The Cost of Life recently came from a blog entitled "Once in the morning sunlight...Take a moment to reflect on the World." In it the author, Nenya, talks about her thoughts on playing the game.

You can read her heartfelt entry below:

I'm probably going to post something about this on my other blog, as well, but from a different perspective.

Has anyone ever tried ? A little game for anyone to play, and reach one simple conclusion: the poor can achieve very moderate success in life, and may be reduced to living in pityful conditions if they should make the slightest mistake, or encounter the slightest unforeseen hardship.

[web] Overview of Ayiti: The Cost of LIfe 

This is a remarkably comprehensive overview of the game, its educational resources, and the process it took to create it.

Read the post here.

[blog] Educator blogs in New Zealand use Ayiti 

Due to a recent visit through New Zealand by TakingITglobal, at least two educators are blogging the use of Ayiti by their students. Check them out:

[exhibit] Ayiti Included in Ithaca Film Festival 

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF), in Ithaca, New York, has a special section on games this year, and Ayiti has been included.

They describe the Festival as a" one-week multimedia inter-arts extravaganza that reboots the environment and sustainability into a larger global conversation, embracing issues ranging from labor, war, health, disease, music, intellectual property, fine art, software, remix culture, economics, archives, AIDS, women's rights, and human rights. This year's festival will focus on new content streams: Maps and Memes, Metropoli, Panic Attacks, and Soundscaping."

Their Digital Art and Gaming Salon is described as such: "Don't miss our Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival digital art and gaming salon, running throughout the festival in 220 Park Hall in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. Computer stations in this festival lounge area will feature the work of this year's digital artists and game designers. Drop by and let these innovative works rewire and recode your preconceptions about the environment,
digitality, and sustainability."

Check it out here.