[Press] Video games getting deeper 

A great piece was posted Friday in the Toronto Star, entitled Video Games Getting Deeper, featuring our recent teen panel at the Games for Change conference and spotlighted Global Kids Playing 4 Keeps program and our game Ayiti: The Cost of Life.

You can read the full article below or here.

Video games getting deeper

A new generation of games aims to help youth better understand the world

June 15, 2007

Jane L. Thompson
Special to the Star

New York–Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Need for Speed may consume the attention of millions of teenagers, but according to a U.S. high school valedictorian, gaming has sparked a new revolution where students are becoming smarter as a result of video games.

But Ciara Bell, 18, a graduate of McKinley High School in Washington, D.C., isn't talking about games where you shoot the driver of a car before you snatch it. She's referring to games like PeaceMaker, Darfur is Dying and Ayiti: The Cost of Life, some of the award-winners this week at the Games for Change Festival.

[SL] Invitation to Virtual World Event on Philanthropy 

An invitation to a virtual world event spotlighting philanthropy was announced by the MacArthur foundation Tuesday. Following is a post by the President of the Foundation, Mr. Jonathon Fanton.

Save the date (22 June, 9am PST) for an historic conversation on the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds featuring MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton and Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale.

I write to invite you to join me in the virtual world of Second Life on Friday, June 22, 2007 at 9am PST (noon EST). With my avatar and a live audio feed, I will be joined by Second Life CEO Philip Rosedale and residents for a discussion on the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds.


561 Broadway New York, NY 10012 www.globalkids.org 212-226-0130


Jonah Kokodyniak, Global Kids, 212-226-2116, Jonah@globalkids.org
Tom Mariam, Mariam Communications, 914-939-4294, tom@mariam.biz

For Immediate Release:


At the fourth annual Games For Change Festival, held June 11-12 at the Parson’s New School of Design in New York City, Global Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating urban youth in international issues, won one of the first Games for Change ("GaCha") Awards for the best games for change made over the past few years. Global Kids's game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, created by students in Brooklyn in partnership with game development company, Gamelab, was awarded best awareness-raising game, for "the game that best raises awareness of an important social issue through engaging and meaningful gameplay."

[SL] GK Light Bulb System 


The GK Light Bulb System is a great tool for moderating discussion in Second Life. You can easily see who's waiting for their turn to speak when the light bulb attachment above their head is turned on. The GK Light Bulb System Discussion Server (just one prim!) displays the chat queue, so everyone can see whose turn is next. With one click, it offers administrators a dialog box with buttons for removing specific names -- or all names -- from the speakers list. And it just takes a click for a wearer to turn off their own GK Light Bulb, if they change their mind and decide they don't want to speak. Adding administrators to the system is as simple as editing a notecard.


GK Light Bulbs are distributed with both copy and transfer permissions, so you'll never run short of them, and the Discussion Server is transferable, so you can give it to someone else in your organization to use or lend it to a friend. But, at only L$ 1000, it's affordable enough to buy more
than one. Brought to you by The Magicians and Global Kids, the GK Light Bulb System is a fun way to manage group discussions AND engage participants.

[sl] Major GK Events at the Games For Change Confernce 

So much to report from the Games For Change conference in New York City!

Global Kids Wins Award

Global Kids was thrilled to be awarded one of the top game prizes of the conference, the GaCha award. The game from our Playing 4 Keeps program, Ayiti: The Cost of Life, was awarded the best Awareness-Raising Game. We couldn't be more pleased. We accepted the award with our students and folks from GameLab. Afi French gave a very moving acceptance speech that left quite a few in tears.

    Best Awareness-Raising Game - for the game that best raises awareness of an important social issue through engaging and meaningful gameplay coupled with innovative and successful distribution techniques towards a broad reach.

    Criteria: Is it a good game, with good game play and a solid integration of game mechanic and content? How did this game reach new audiences, find innovative distribution avenues, and ultimately raise awareness for a particular cause? Tips: These are often low budget games, made in a grass roots context, virally distributed.

Beth Kanter posted this photo of Lithelson holding the award:

Global Kids Coordinates Teen Panelists

[sl] Global Kids soft launches educators program in TSL 

Global Kids has soft launched our new educators program in Teen Second Life aptly called Virtual World Campus.

Some of the details were posted in a recent SLED forums post,

Global Kids and Firesabre are creating a Teen Second Life Virtual World Campus that will make it far easier for educators to use Second Life. Up to now there's been a steep learning curve, and high minimum costs.

1 - There's no need to buy a private island from Linden Lab to create an education area for teens.

2 - Educators can rent or buy land parcels for projects.

3 - Firesabre handles much of the interaction with Linden Lab.

4 - Firesabre associates are available to provide answers and assistance.

People out in the blogosphere have also noticed us dipping our toes in the water. You can read more of what others are saying in the following posts:

There have also been some great comments left as well:

[vvp] Filming the Child Soldiers 

Today we spent the day filming the project. Here are some behind the scenes working with the rebels in the Lords Resistance Army.

Creating a way for soldiers to be sleeping
To make them look like they are sleeping, everyone sat on an invisible box, which we then rotated

Filming the soldiers in the cafeteria
William in the white shirt, who will control the camera, is walking around the cafeteria with Idan watching to set up the shot

[p4k] Digital Refinery at work 

Digital Refinery, the teen-led Second Life development company, is hard at work creating the game for the Playing 4 Keeps program. Isn't that crane sweet?

Digital Refinery building the Playing 4 Keeps game

[P4K] Last class 

Today was the last P4K class at South Shore.

We asked the students some questions to get their feedback on the various aspects of the program and what they thought they learned during the course of the year -
1. What went well during the year in P4K for the group?
2. What went well during the year in P4K for you personally?
3. What did you learn this year about games and game design?
4. What did you learn this year about global and social issues?
5. What leadership skills did you learn?
6. What could be done differently in the program next year?
7. What could you do differently in the future?

Click on the links to see what Tashawna, Sanji, Vladimyr, Jonathon and Syndie had to say.

[blog, blog, blog] GK buzz in the Blogosphere 

Lots of people have been talking about Global Kids out in the blogosphere. Read some of their comments and posts below.

In Eliane Alhadeff's blog Future-Making Serious Games we made her top '5 Blogs That Make Me Think' in her post The Thinking Blogger Award For Future-Making Serious Games.