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My Experiences in Playtesting "Conflict in Little Italy" 

NYC Haunts is very creative in its design. It is a program in which youth use ARIS on Ipads to explore historical neighborhoods.  I like the idea of exploring neighborhoods with techknowledge. We worked in a nice library. We set up the apps on the iPads and started exploring Little Italy in the afternoon. About six middle school kids participated in the game.  The weather was very nice, sunny and not hot. We walked out of the library looking for Jonas, who is a virtual character.

 

We did a lot of testing before the students actually get to play it. We went to the library two days before the game and pretend we were playing. We learned about each of the virtual characters in the game, and fixed some conversations between players and virtual characters. We walked outside and went to the markets. Surprisingly the locals were so supportive and were very interested in the game we were testing. The chef in the market even tried to tell us stories about this neighborhood.

 

 

In my opinion, this is a very successful game. Kids love to use ipads. One of them told me that it was very cool to use an ipad. Some of these kids grew up in this neighborhood, so they were surprised to learn new things about it. They were happy playing the game together and using the ipads.

My First Day Reflection 

        Today was my first day interning at Global Kids. Unfamiliar with the neighborhood, it took me quite a while to get there. Even though I had been there for the interview, when I got out of the subway, it still took me some time to figure out the directions.

 

       The day was fine. It was full of surprises. The first person I recognized was the girl I saw when I had the interview. Second person I was looking for is Daria since she emailed me the schedule.  After that, Daria introduced me to everyone else in the room. This is a big room and lots of people were sitting inside doing their work. I didn’t know they all work for global kids in the beginning; I thought some of them belong to some other organizations.  About ten minutes later, I was invited to a staff meeting. Juan, Daria, Joliz and I started talking about the agenda for VVP. To be honest, I didn't understand everything they were discussing. But the meeting was a very good start for me. Now I know better what to say in a meeting like that in the future.

 

Playtesting in Little Italy: NYC Haunts Final Event in the Bronx 

If someone had told me that this summer I would be venturing out to the beautiful Little Italy neighborhood of the Bronx, seeing firsthand how geolocative games are created through the program ARIS, and eating gelato at the same time, I definitely would not have believed them. Fortunately for me, that’s exactly what I have been up to since last week, interning with the Online Leadership Program.

 

 

For the past few days, I joined the OLP team for the NYC Haunts program in the Bronx, and learned some crucial elements of game design, how to playtest a game and the final steps to take before presenting it to a curious group of middle school students.
 

The day started off in the Bronx Public Library, where Juan, Yuanjun, and I went over a game called “Conflict in Little Italy,” which students at MS 391 had been working on throughout the year. I got a sense of how the game functioned in terms of mechanics, and also how it served educational purposes. I learned that the game was designed to educate youth about secrecy in the government, and provided them with examples to help better understand the subject matter.  I found out about the different functions in the game, such as the map function, which would help the students complete the quests the game had in store for them.

 

Hive Chicago Badge Development 

 

On June 12th Barry Joseph and I led a full day session to discuss badging principles and have a hands on experience in BadgeStack with Hive Chicago. The morning session brought eleven people together representing eight organizations. We saw examples of badging systems from DYN, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Global Kids, and the Epstein School. There was an indepth discussion on developing network wide badges. Ruth Schmidt - who led the morning session - provided a summary of talk:

 

 

 

We discussed the idea of this minigroup turning into more of an official working group to tackle some of the bigger picture issues that have bubbled up in conversation recently, in particular:

Reactions to GK-led Youth Panel on Game Competitions at Games For Change 

Yesterday, three Global Kids youth leaders and 3 other youth from around the country presented at Games For Change, talking about what they learned as winners or creators of national game design competitions.

 

The youth had taken part in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, The National STEM Video Game Challenge, and the AMD Social Impact Game Design Challenges. Below is the slide we used describing and contrasting the three:

 

We were originally placed in a room seating 20. This was a problem, no less so than the youth panelists and their chaprerones took up nearly all of the seats. After some coordinating we were moved across the hall and filled the room with over 50 people. Photos can be viewed here and below are some of the twitter posts: