Playing For Keeps Program - 2nd Session Update 

Yesterday we held our second meeting of the Playing For Keeps program, in which Global Kids youth leaders from around the city are learning about serious game design & Gamestar Mechanic and will collaborate with E-Line media (the folks who run Gamestar Mechanic) to create social issue game competitions.

This week - held on election day - the youth went into Gamestar for the first time, with the mission to complete the first "chapter" within the game. The teacher tools for tracking students were excellent, as we were able to project on the board youth's progress as an impromptu leader board. (I can also see now, less than 24 hours later, than three of the students kept playing last night). Many of the youth leaders looked as equally shocked as surprised when we said they were allow to continue playing Gamestar at home, between our sessions.

P4K Internship Program Begins 

6305693181_0bb5a33716_m.jpg On Tuesday, Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program launched this year’s “Playing 4 Keeps” internship program. 25 high school students were selected from a pool of applicants and will meet once a week on Tuesdays at Global Kids’ office for the entire school year. P4K Interns will play games, design social impact games using Gamestar Mechanic, meet professionals in the game design field, act as judges in a national competition, and develop leadership skills.

Global Kids Youth Leaders met GK staffers, Daria and Barry, as well as staff members Scott and Michael from our partner E-Line Media. E-Line Media is an educational game publishing company that developed Gamestar Mechanic.

In this first session, youth developed their first game using found objects to address social issues. For example, one group used a toy bear, a marble, and two tennis balls to create a game called “Feed the Bear” about animal cruelty and wildlife preservation. Another group created a game about pollution and a third group created a game to address famine. Afterwards, youth created their accounts in Gamestar Mechanic.

The news is out: Funding for City Kids and Teens to Geek Out Anytime, Anywhere: $590,000 for 12 Groups that Help Kids Connect and Learn through Digital Media. These funds are part of an effort from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust to expand the possibilities for digital learning.

In general, the latest round of grants will help develop and expand projects that use smart phones, iPads, social networks, and programming skills to help students become media makers as well as consumers, connecting the social and academic and making the world a better place.

Global Kids is thrilled to have receive funding from four proposals submitted in the latest round:

Civic Geocaching
This is a spring program in which GK youth will identify a civic issue and educate their peers and their community through a scavenger hunt-style activity called geocaching. It will be developed in partnership with youth and staff at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. A second proposal will support us to work with Mills College to evaluate the program.

"Playing 4 Keeps" Internship Program Accepting Applications 


Do you play online games? Ever wonder what it would be like to make one? What if that game could teach people about an important social issue, like racism or police profiling? In the P4K internship, teens will work with GK staff to learn about global issues, game design skills, and how game design companies make games.

By year’s end, youth will have played games, designed games for social good, visited game design companies, and developed leadership skills. In addition, they will have designed and launched two online game design challenges to their peers around the country. The program will partner with game publishers E-line Media.

About the Program

Each student intern is required to put in a minimum of 2 hours per week at Global Kids’ office in Manhattan, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-6:00pm from November 2011 through June 2012. All absences must be excused in advance or, in the case of emergencies, excused afterwards. Occasionally, students may be asked to come in during school holidays or weekends for field trips or special events.

GK's game, Ayiti, Receiving Coverage in China 

AS our buddies in China, FifthWisdom, officially launch their localized version of our game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, we are excited to hear about press they have been receiving.

We can only hope it is good, as we don't know yet what they said.

And here they are at a conference:

NYC Haunts featured in The Huffington Post 


NYC Haunts, the location-based game developed by middle school students from MS 391 was featured in The Huffington Post on July 14, 2011. Jack Martin, Assistant Director for Public Programs/Lifelong Learning for Children, Teens and Families, The New York Public Library wrote the article.

NYC Haunts was a collaboration between Global Kids and The New York Public Library.

Read the entire article here:

The New York Public Library published an article in the Huffignton Post NYC Haunts: Bronx Teens Discover Their Neighborhood Through an Interactive Look at the Dead

Q & A with Jessy Jo at the 2011 Games For Change Festival 

At this year's Games For Change Festival Global Kids Youth Leader, Jessy Jo, was the only high school youth to address the conference. Her topic, "Trends in Gaming: Youth Designing Games," addressed her decision path to become, in her own words, "a game designer who changes the world."

Video above filmed by Anders Birch
Her bio is below:
Jessy Jo Gomez is a high school senior at the NYC Museum School. She actively participates in a youth organization called Global Kids, which revolves around human rights and social issues. Participation in a program called Playing 4 Keeps introduced her to Games for Change. She was the keynote speaker at the GK annual conference and emceed a past conference. Jessy Jo also was awarded a full scholarship to Parsons The New School for Design, and was admitted into the Design and Technology department where she will pursue her passion in video game design.

Thanks to all the wonderful twitterati who reposted some wonderful tweets re-quoting and about Jessy Jo:

Global Kids on NY1 at the 8th Annual Games For Change Festival 

At the recent Games For Change Festival, Global Kids' Barry Joseph was interviewed by NY1 about games-based learning. This is an excerpt from the longer broadcast, featuring just the part focusing on Global Kids.

Ayiti: The Cost Of Life now available in Chinese 

Have you ever found yourself playing our award-winning collaboration with GameLab, Ayiti: The Cost of Life, and found yourself thinking, "Geez, if only I could pretend to manage a Haitian household... in Chinese." Well, now you can!


Created by FifthWisdom, with our permission but on their own initiative, we are delighted now to be able to share it with you. You can view some screen shots and play it here.

Global Kids game used by Computers for Youth 

We are delighted to report that Computers For Youth continues to use Global Kids' Ayiti: The Cost of Life within its programs. Below we can share a recent update they shared with us:

So far this year, we’ve are proud to say that we have served over 15,000 low-income families. By the end of the year, we hope that over 17,000 families will have received Home Learning Centers with Ayiti: The Cost of Life as a key component of our Home Learning Software Suite.

CFY Families and students (and CFY Staff!) really enjoy exploring Ayiti during our Saturday Family Learning Workshops and at home! Additionally, Ayiti: The Cost of Life has been reviewed with over 400 CFY teachers during CFY’s Teacher Learning Workshops, where CFY teachers are gathered together to explore resources and suggestions for using the CFY Home Learning Software in their classroom and curriculum.