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[conf] Virtual World Residents to Gather in Chicago 


CHICAGO, IL (August 8, 2007) – The Second Life Community Convention, which is expected to draw hundreds of virtual world “residents” from around the globe to Chicago on August 24-26, will feature a series of events examining the increasing presence of social justice organizations in virtual worlds. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which recently announced a year-long exploration of virtual worlds, is supporting these events at the convention in order to spark discussion about the use of virtual worlds for the public good.

Second Life is one of several “virtual worlds” that offers a three-dimensional environment where online participants from around the globe are represented by avatars in social and workplace interactions that mimic and reinvent the physical world. Participation in virtual worlds has been growing rapidly. Second Life now has millions of users and a growing non-profit community.

[conf] Non-profit / Philanthropy Schedule Announced for This Year's SLCC 

The Non-profit and Philanthropy Thread
at the 2007 Second Life Community Convention

Developed by Global Kids in partnership with
the MacArthur Foundation


"The Public Good, Passion, and Learning"
Insights gathered from the MacArthur Foundation's journey into fieldbuilding in virtual worlds, digital media, and learning.

The education track keynote will be given by Connie Yowell, the Director of Education in the MacArthur Foundation's Program on Human and Community Development. In this role, she focuses on grants relating to public education, and on the implications for education of young people's use of digital media.

“Teens Making Machinima within Non-Profit Programs”

This all-teen panel will highlight animated movies created by TSL residents within after school programs for the MacArthur Foundation and UNICEF. Machinima will be screened and issues related to their production within a non-profit setting will be explored.

[conf] GK at the GLS! 

This morning Global Kids ran a half-hour teen panel (our second this summer) at the Games, Learning and Society Conference. Read the official panel description from the program here.

The panel was composed of two Global Kids leaders - Jonathan from Playing 4 Keeps and Angela from the Virtual Video Project - and a third teen, Lane, whom we know from Second Life (and whom we were excited to learn would be the conference). In addition, we worked with two teens in Second Life to speak.

After an activity in which audience members received one of six trading cards about various GK programs (and met each other to create full collections and learn about the programs) each teen presented.

Jonathan spoke about making a game in Second Life, CONSENT!, about unethical medical prison research (read his own account of his experience here.) Angela spoke about using Second Life to create machinima about obesity and then child soldiers in Uganda (read her great description here ). Lane then spoke about his anti-adult presence activities in Second Life life and how that led to a major policy change by Linden Lab read some of his thoughts).

[sl] Videos from James Paul Gee's Visit 

In May of 2007, an avatar contest was held on Global Kids island in Teen Second Life. James Paul Gee, the noted professor, came to Global Kids to try on the various avatars- such as a chicken, a cyberninja and a dragon -- while reflecting on a variety of issues related to games, learning, avatars and online identity.

The following sixteen videos show brief excerpts from his visit:

  1. Introduction
  2. On Games and Learning
  3. On Having a Body in a Virtual world
  4. On Modding and Thinking Like a Designer
  5. On Being a 59-year Old Balding White Man
  6. On Choosing Identity as a Strategy
  7. On Video Games as Art
  8. On Avatars as a Surrogate Body
  9. On Politicians, Second Life, and the Freedom to Offend
  10. On Second Life and Youth Entrepreneurship
  11. On the Flattening World
  12. On Doing versus Knowing
  13. On Game Addiction
  14. On the Value of Fantasy
  15. Farewells

For Immediate Release:
Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, 212-226-2116,


Global Kids and the MacArthur Foundation have partnered to announce a new nonprofit and philanthropic theme for the third annual Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), to be held August 24-26 in Chicago. In conjunction with the event, a series of research and how-to papers will be published this fall.

“With inhabitants skyrocketing into the millions, it is only natural that some of the million-odd nonprofits in the US might ask questions about their new role” noted organizer Barry Joseph of Global Kids. SLCC is currently the largest gathering of people interested in one the most rapidly growing online worlds – Second Life. The funder behind the effort is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which views the new SLCC work as one of the next steps in the Foundation’s year-long exploration of the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds. The new focus for SLCC builds on Global Kids’ path-breaking educational programming in that environment.

[teen/sl/dmi] Random thoughts about philanthropy and Second Life 

As you have read in this blog already, Global Kids streamed into GK Island the audio of the conversation between Philip Rosedale (a.k.a. Philip Linden, CEO of Linden Lab, the developers of Second Life) and Jonathan Fanton (the president of MacArthur Foundation). You can find the audio file here (mp3), among other materials.

There are a lot of impressions about this event already, so I will try to be brief here.

A lot has been said about the actual content of this conversation. All I can say is that most parts of it can be subject to discussion as they were mainly the impressions of the participants. Personally, I (and other teens that were present, too, in GK for the streaming) disagreed with some of the political viewpoints presented in it, but also agreed in the possibilities that both Linden Lab and other institutions have to hold successful programs in Second Life.

[sl] Discussions about philanthropy and non-profits in virtual worlds 

The debates about both philanthropy and non-profits in Second Life and virtual worlds have begun. We will try to aggregate some of the best below:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy Asks: Is Second Life a passing fad, or is it something savvy nonprofit groups should be watching and participating in? Read more here.

Provofy Neva's We Need a New Kind of Philanthropy

Constance_Steinkuehler's online MacArthur Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning article, Pop Cosmopolitanism in Virtual Worlds, or How Second Life Can Save the World discusses this as well.

[sl] The Philip Rosedale/MacArthur Foundation Conversation 

To read the invitation about the Philanthropy in Virtual Worlds event, please go here.

One teen quote in particular, from, Anthony Pomeray, summed up the effect the event had on many who participated: "After hearing the conversation Philip had today, I just feel like I want to be part of something to help mankind."

In short, on Friday, June 22nd, from 8 - 10:30 SLT, teen residents were invited by Global Kids to host a live dance/listening/viewing party of Philip Rosedale in conversation with Jonathan Fanton, the president of the MacArthur Foundation, streamed from the main grid.

Barry Joseph, of Global Kids, and Jonathan Fanton, of the MacArthur Foundation
Barry Joseph, of Global Kids, and Jonathan Fanton, of the MacArthur Foundation

One location was Global Kids Island while a second was on Evolve, hosted by Ty Dejavu, who said "Gimme a woot phor philanthropy!!!"

[dmi] Report on FOCUS Dialogues Released 

In April of 2007, Global Kids held the first round of FOCUS: Teen Voices on Digital Media and Society, a series of online dialogues in which teens from around the globe gathered to discuss the effects that digital media had in their lives and in the world.

We're pleased to release an independent report on FOCUS which gives an overview of the project and its participants, and, most importantly, elucidates on the many themes which emerged from the youth voices in the dialogues.

Download the report.

Read the full archives of FOCUS.

[sl] Philip Linden/MacArthur Foundation Listening Party 

This Friday Philip Linden will be holding a conversation with Jonathan Fanton, the president of the MacArthur Foundation (one of Global Kids top funders).

here is the schedule for the event:

Pre-Event Mixer 8:00 AM SLT - 9:00 AM SLT
Live DJ Cher Harrington spins original SL music

  • with Etherian Kamaboko, Hep Shepherd, Komuso Tokugawa, Rich Desoto, Ronnie Carr, Sarah Mac Band, Smily Raymaker, Virtual Live Band
  • Free t-shirts and badges
  • Information on MacArthur Foundation program areas and grantmaking
  • Original SL music information displays

Event 9:00 AM SLT - 9:45 AM SLT

  • Join Philip Rosedale and Jonathan Fanton for a conversation about philanthropy in virtual worlds
  • Short recorded video presentation
  • Welcome and introductions
  • Live voice stream
  • Questions from the SL audience

Post-Event Reception 9:45 AM SLT - 10:30 AM SLT