Camp GK 2006

A Eulogy For Teen Second Life 

State of the teen grid predebateIn August, 2010, the owners of Second Life announced their youth-only virtual world, Teen Second Life, would be permanently shut down after five years of operation. In the spirit of serious play that pervaded this unique source of youth expression, the following eulogy is provided. To add your own or join the discussion please go here.

Dearly beloved, educators and youth alike, we are gathered together (to misquote Prince) to get through this thing called Second Life. Or, more to the point, not get through it but get out of it. For any minute, perhaps as you hear these very words, a switch will be flipped, forever dispersing Teen Second Life, our virtual playground and classroom for all these years, into actual oblivion.

[SL] GK Teen talks about his summer camp experiences 

Tecno Tiger published an entry on Teen SL News blog about his experiences during the GK summer camp. Read the excerpt below or view the original here.

CRC GK Machinima Camp
Published by
Tecno Tiger
at July 29, 2007 in Uncategorised.

Last year i spent a part of my summer working with Global Kids and other teen residents within second life. If you haven’t heard of Global Kids before, then heres there Mission statement which can also be seen on there homepage

Our goal is to transform urban youths into successful students and global and community leaders by engaging them in socially dynamic, content-rich learning experiences.

Last years camp, the first ever ‘Camp GK’ was great fun for everyone who took part. At the end of this all the teens made an educational maze, explaining about how child trafficking works. At the end people were able to donate to the organisation, and during the maze teens received a load of freebies that they can wear to help the cause. I wrote an article from a teens perspective going through the maze, for those that didn’t get a chance to go, and it can be seen here.

[sl/teen] Week One of The Global Kid's two week anniversary celebration! 

Hey guys!
As most of you know, Global Kids is celebrating it's year anniversary in Teen Second Life!
It's been an incredible year, and they've reached some very important milestones.
The past week has head many awesome activities for the residents of TSL.
I wasn't present for them all, so I can't tell you -all- about them.

I can say that on Wednesday, The Global Kids had some amazing teens talk about their experiences. I sadly could not make it to talk, due to personal reasons; but I've read what my fellow campers, and others have said.

Yesterday, Barry managed a debate. The topic was something along the lines of, 'What do you think of adults in a teen space?'
There were many more subjects covered, though.
Some talked about what teens can gain or lose through a virtual world, and others focused mainly on the topic of adults in the teen space.
Although there wasn't much opposition; everyone had opinions, very different from the next person.

[blog] The New Media Literacies Project on Ayiti 

I was checking out one of Henry Jenkin's projects, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, when I was delighted to come across a blog entry, on their New Media Literacies Project site, entitled, "The Cost of Life? Expensive".

The excellent piece began with a reflection on our summer camp in Second Life but quickly expands into an excellent analysis of the game, which conclude: It is a fairly amazing feat to generate such a strong feeling of sympathy and responsibility in a short web-based game. It will be, I suspect, a valuable tool for classroom learning, as well as personal reflection.

Read it all at: or below

I was reading a post by Barry Joseph to the new Macarthur Spotlight blog, which tracks news about crossovers between digital media and learning. The post itself is rather interesting, an attempt to distill what was learned from a kind of global summer camp held in virtual world Second Life into a list of best practices for virtual education initiatives. Definitely check it out.

The recent issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, one of the most important publications for those in the world of foundations, just published an excellent article on the emergence of Games for Change. To our delight, Global Kids work was referenced throughout. Below are some highlights:

Our Playing 4 Keeps program:

International Issues

One of the first nonprofit groups to enter the world of electronic gaming was Global Kids.

The organization, which has worked for more than 20 years to improve academic performance in troubled New York public schools, started developing digital games three years ago. The charity's games have been used to educate teenagers in the city and elsewhere about international issues and to encourage them to get involved in civic projects.

After seeing a prototype of a Global Kids game, Microsoft gave the organization $500,000 for an after-school program in which teenagers work with professional designers to develop games about social issues.

Their first game, released in November, is called Ayiti: The Cost of Life. Made in cooperation with Gamelab, a New York company that develops video games, it is available on Unicef's Web site.

[blog] Teens Reflect on Virtual Summer Camp 

Global Kids continues to contribute to the MacArthur Foundation blog spotlighting Digital Media & Learning.

This time we had the teens weigh in about their thoughts on the Virtual Summer Camp, then opened it up for discussion:

"When you think of summer camp what images come to mind? Perhaps getting outdoors, leaving one’s home, physical challenges, and bugs? Well, for participants in last summer Camp Global Kids program, in the teen grid of Second Life, they might respond: flying on floating platforms, watching hippos fall from the sky, and taking action on world issues."

The conversation can be followed below and also viewed on the MacArthur blog - here.

Youth Discussion #2: Teens Reflect on Virtual Summer Camp

The summer program took 15 teens, plus two teen interns, through an intensive experience three hours a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Details of this unique program, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, can be found in this short video presentation or in this just-released 12-page comic book (based on photos and chat logs from the program).

[Camp GK] Teens show solidarity against child trafficking 

In the Summer of 2006, thousands of teens from the virtual world of Teen Second Life showed their solidarity to support the end of child sex trafficking. After completing an interactive maze built by the campers from the Camp Global Kids project that educated about the issue, many sent in photos of themselves wearing their 'Slavery Still Exists' t-shirt. Check out the slideshow below!

[blog] Camp GK Comic picked up on the MMORPG blog 

The Camp GK Comic was picked up on the MMORPG blog.

Read the post here.

[print] School Library Journal includes Global Kids in Cover Article 

The January edition of the School Library Journal published an excellent cover article on teens, libraries and Second Life. And even though Global Kids is far from Librarians they included us in the piece, as well as our best practices for educators document, simply because they love us (or so they said). :-)

A Web presence that helps teens develop positive identities, take charge of their lives, and assume leadership roles as world citizens? As librarians, we knew a good thing when we saw one.

    One teenager, Lucky Figtree (her screen name), recalled her experience in Camp Global Kids, a free summer event conducted in TSL by Global Kids, a New York-based nonprofit organization dedicated to getting urban youth interested in public policy and international issues. “We built a maze in Camp Global Kids against child sex trafficking,” she says on the MacArthur Foundation Spotlight Web site. “We all worked hard, had a great opening, and raised a lot of money.” (Linden dollars translate into actual bucks).


To help us spread the love, check out their article here.

[blog] Second Life Insider Promotes Camp GK Comic 

I think this camp would have been really fun as a child. I was brought up in Florida and remember all of my everglades exploration camps, and exploring the wild life of my home state. But we now live in a time of global and virtual communities, so I can't imagine a better way to explore this new paradigm then a virtual summer camp.

More here.