Latest Entries...

Playing for Keeps Session 1 

Students at SIS were joined by middle schoolers from around the city to take part in Global Kids' signature "Playing for Keeps" program. They used MIT's open source video game design software, Scratch, to program and design games about environmental issues ranging from pollution ("Pollution's no Illusion" by Jayme, Julisa and Summit) to habitats (Wildlife Takeback by Robert, Gabriel and Patrick). It was an exhilarating week of hands-on activities that exposed students to the elements of a game and content about population density supplied by NASA. All throughout, students kept blogs documenting their learning.

 

Students completing a Lego Challenge where they have to create an immage based on a story that they were assigned.

 

On the first day of the program, after a warm-up that involved representing movie plots with legos, the students learned to name the core elements of a game by identifying those elements in classic games such as Rock, Paper, Scissors and soccer. They chose specific elements of a game that they wanted to change, and noticed how their jams affected game play. They were also introduced to Scratch and learned basic functions using the Scratch Program.

 

NYC Haunts: Week 2 

Our SIS students are officially GPS game designers! This week was packed with activities all leading up to a presentation at the Weeksville Heritage Center where students from the School for Human Rights playtested the new game. 

 

There was lots of work to do to prepare. On the 5th day of the program, students split up into groups to work on developing characters for the game. They referred back to the history they learned at the Weeksville Heritage Center and week 1 workshops. They decided what roles to give each character and the items each character would give to the player, and began writing the characters' dialogues. At the end of the day they presented their character's dialogues, even dressing up a bit and playing the part. They each shared what worked and what needed improvement about the other groups' dialogues and provided strong feedback for their peers.

 

Robert in costume and reading the dialogue of the Freedman Reggie Colson

 

On the 6th day, the students revised the rough draft of the dialogue in groups, adding more historical context and even some 1800's slang. Their creativity was put to the test! At the end of the day the students connected the Draft Riots to other modern social issues of their choosing: the Trayvon Martin case, hate crimes, and the work of Malcolm X were the three topics students were most interested in exploring. 

 

Students adding more historical context and content to their dialogues.

 

Jayme and Julisa do research on a modern day social issue connected to their game.

 

On the 7th day, they finalized their dialogues and put the last minute touches on their game. They playtested their game in the office using the quicktravel option on ARIS. Content with the results of their finalized game, they began preparing to present their game at the Weeksville Heritage Center the following day. They learned to keep in mind things such as eye contact, pace of speech, volume of speech, and body posture. They were very encouraging and supportive of each other when practicing their speeches giving feedback and constructive criticism when necessary.

 

Students relating the Draft Riots to racism and hate crimes today.

 

Finally, the big day had arrived! The students traveled to the Weeksville Heritage Center where they presented their game to middle schoolers from the School for Human Rights. They talked about the Civil War, Draft Riots, connections between that time and current day issues, and how to use ARIS. When it came time to play the game, they became leaders, helping other students easily maneuver through the game, despite the heat wave! They made some new friends and enjoyed playing the game they worked for two weeks to create.

At the Weeksville Heritage Center playing the game created by SIS students

 

NYC Haunts was a great experience for both the students and the facilitators. Thanks in part to one of the funders on the project, TimeWarner Cable, the students were exposed to something they were not familiar with before and were able to successfully create a game that others could play and learn from. The students also became more comfortable with each other and made new friends along the way. It was an enriching experience that I could see the students wanting to do again.

NYC Haunts at School for International Studies: Week 1 

Thanks to a generous grant from TimeWarner CableOLP's 2013 NYC Haunts summer camp is up and running! Middle School students from the School for International Studies came together this week to begin designing a geo-locative game set during the Civil War draft riots in the free African-American neighborhood of Weeksville in Brooklyn.

 

We kicked off the week with a scavenger hunt in Madison Square Park to learn the fundamentals of location-based games: map reading. Students also enjoyed using the iPads to play their first geo-locative game.

 

Kenny, Niles, and Robert taking a picture near the Shake Shack, one of the locations in the scavenger hunt.

 

On the second day of camp, students were introduced to the ARIS game design platform's editor where they practiced putting characters and items on a map and creating their own basic ARIS games. They also learned about the Civil War draft riots that took place in New York City exactly 150 years ago. Each student played a character from the time of the draft riots and made decisions based on who their character was and what they had in their "inventories." 

 

Julisa, Tommy, and Robert playing the Survive the Draft game created by OLP staff and interns Man Cheung and Melissa Salama.

 

On the third day, the students visited the Weeksville Heritage Center and gathered ideas for characters and locations that could be used in their ARIS game. They learned about how residents of Weeksville might have been affected by the Civil War draft riots.

 

On the fourth day, students learned that the story in their game would be strong if it included some emotional ups and downs. They picked stories or movies they enjoyed and broke them down to see how the characters' emotions changed, then they brainstormed potential mysteries for their game, identifying characters and locations based on their visit to the Weeksville Heritage Center the day before. Each student contributed to the storyline, excited to see it all come together.

 

Jayme and Julisa presenting their ideas for the game's storyline.

 

Next week brings a whole new set of game design activites based on what students learned this week. It's crunch time: the final playtesting day is next Thursday!

Global Kids at the Angelo Patri Middle School 

After three amazing years our time at MS 391, the Angelo Patri Middle school has come to an end. We wanted to celebrate with a look back to some of the highlights over the years including; the inception of NYC Haunts, creating anti-bullying comics, developing amazing games and most of all - having fun while learning. Check out the slideshow and celebrate our incredible students from the Bronx!

 

 

Playing for Keeps Game Design Summer Camp 

 

P4K_Summer_Camp2

 

Do you play online games? Ever wonder what it would be like to make one? Come to a Game Design Summer Camp at Global Kids! During this intensive one week workshop, you will:

 

Learn the concepts of game design including prototyping, idea development, and iteration.

- Play and design in analog and online environments

- Explore the world of serious games and how they can be used to address social issues.

- Work on a team to produce an online game using a design platform such as Scratch, Stencyl or Gamestar Mechanic

- Present your ideas to your peers, and provide feedback to assist in the iterative process of game design.

- Meet professionals from the game design industry!

 

Sign up here: p4k.globalkids.org

Select one of two sessions:

 

Jul 22 - 25, 2013 (middle school)

Jul 29 - Aug 1, 2013 (high school)

 

Global Kids' headquarters

137 E. 25th Street, 2nd Floor

10:00 am to 4:00 pm