GK Teams Score at Emoti-Con 

This past weekend at the youth digital media challenge, Emoti-Con, a whopping ten teams of youth representing eight Global Kids school sites showcased games and other projects they had spent the year or semester developing.


Beaming with pride, they spoke to judges and other passersby at the project fair about the elements of their games, their games' backstories and topics, the challenges that cropped up during the coding process, and the iterative cycle.


Photo by Neha Gautam.



The event exposed students to professionals in fields the youth were interested in, including art design, coding, game design, and business operation.


A user experience designer described his job as making sure that the company doesn't design products that people don't like and won't use. In response, 6th grader Joseph Cruz remarked, "Oh, like the Apple watch?"


Global Kids youth leaders from Academy for Health Careers walked away from the event with one of the coveted top 5 awards, Best Point of View, for their project "Squad Up: Finding Kathy," a geo-locative game that explores the life of a teen who must gather support for a friend in trouble, teaching players about the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the process.


Photo by Neha Gautam.

The youth at Bryant High School's game, "Life of a Queens Teen: Daniella's Journey" won an honorable mention, as did the Twine game "On the Run," produced by Playing for Keeps Citywide participants.


Photo by Neha Gautam.

Don't just take our word for it! The game designers at Bryant High School, working with trainer Neha Gautam, put together a narrated slide show of images from the awesome day:


Emoti-Con 2015 from NehaGautam on Vimeo.


Special thanks to all of the trainers involved in supporting youth through the design process and at Emoti-Con, and to the Hive Learning Network for putting this fabulous event together.


Playing for Keeps Game Design Summer Camp 




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:

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

National STEM Video Game Challenge Workshops 

We are excited to announce that a series of workshops for the National STEM Video Game Challenge are launching this Saturday! 


The Challenge, launched in 2010, is a multi-year competition that aims to motivate interest in STEM learning among America's youth by tapping into students' natural passion for playing and making video games. Middle and high school students across the country are asked to create original video games, individually or as teams, and to submit their games for the opportunity to win important recognition for themselves and their communities. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center and E-Line Media are co-presenters of the STEM Challenge.


P4K Citywide Prepares as Youth Facilitators  


GK's Playing for Keeps Citywide program is now in its seventh week and a lot has been accomplished so far. Our five returning youth from last year have had the chance to become peer leaders by co-facilitating parts of workshops, helping new students, and brainstorming new activities.


In these seven weeks, youth have learned game design terms and concepts, become familiar with Gamestar Mechanic, and have started using Stencyl to design games for the first time. In December, in addition to playing and making games, the group will also transition to learning about how to write and a facilitate workshops. This is because from January to March, they will be leading introductory game design and game critique workshops at various locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx to prepare youth around the city to submit their games to the National STEM Video Game Challenge.


There will be a lot to prepare for as these GK Youth Leaders take on the role of facilitators and educators in a new capacity, but they are more than up to the task!


GK at the Global Education Conference 

Global Kids will be presenting at the 2012 Global Education Conference, which takes place online from November 12-17. One of the best things about this conference is that it’s entirely virtual and free, which makes it incredibly accessible and allows for a globally connected experience.


"The conference seeks to present ideas, examples, and projects that help connect educators and classrooms, with a strong emphasis on promoting global awareness, fostering global competency, and inspiring action towards solving real–world problems. It is our hope that attendees will challenge themselves and others to become more active citizens of the world. Let us learn, question, create, and engage in meaningful, authentic opportunities within a global context!” -From GEC Website


This year, GEC, recognizing that games-based learning is a hot educational topic, has partnered with BrainPOP, a creator of animated educational videos, to develop a new gaming strand for the conference to highlight games within a global education context.


Global Kids’ session will take place on Thursday, November 12, 3pm-4pm EST on the following topic:


Developing Global Citizenship Skills Through Game Design

Playing for Keeps at Long Island City High School 

Global Kids leaders kicked off the Playing for Keeps program at Long Island City High School last week. They started the program by learning about characters in a game and playing for the first time Gamestar Mechanic.


During this first workshop the participants were introduced to the overall goals of the program: to create games about social issues important to them or their community. They began the program by thinking about the role of characters in a game, and started with an activity where they had to draw their favorite character. Then they played a game in which the rest of the group had to guess the character they drew as the drawing was revealed slowly by the presenting group. This led to a discussion about how characters are used in a game, what makes a good character, and the different types of characters such as protagonist and antagonist. 


They were a very enthusiastic group who share some of their ideas about creating they own games. Eighteen eager high school students that will use games to express their creative ideas and inform others about a social issue. 


Here are some pictures from the first day



P4K at LIC

Playing 4 Keeps and National STEM Video Game Challenge 

Global Kids is incredibly excited to launch this year's Playing 4 Keeps (P4K) game design program in partnership with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and E-Line Media and with support from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust!


This year, GK youth who join P4K have the unique opportunity to both learn game design skills and train other youth around the city who are part of the Hive Learning Network NYC.  GK youth will support Hive youth to develop game design skills and participate in the National STEM Video Game Challenge.  At the same time, Global Kids and E-Line staff will support and train adult staff at Hive organizations to implement game design programs. 


Even more exciting is that this year we have five returning youth from last year's P4K program who will serve as peer mentors!  Tremayne, Jason, Kendell, Ednica, and Jared will help us co-facilitate sessions, support other youth, and of course be part of the student workshops we will be offering to Hive youth.  



P4K meets every Wednesday at GK.  Check the P4K page for blog updates!


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Nine Lives Game from Create to Learn 

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During the school year 2012, middle school girls from the School for Human Rights and the School for Leadership Democracy at the Wingate Campus in Brooklyn, participated in the program Create to Learn, with the sponsorship from the Games for Learning Institute. Create to Learn was a program designed to uncover the potential of games as learning tools in math, and to introduce students to peer education. 
The program introduced the girls to the basic concepts of game design, including prototyping, playtesting and iteration. In addition, they collaborated in teams to develop their ideas. They decided on the idea of a 'rescue the princess' game that they called Nine Lives. The program also prepare them to present their game ideas to game design professionals, school staff, and their peers. 
The girls, from 7th and 8th grades, developed a game to help their 6th graders peers develop and improve math skills. See the result of their efforts above and play their game. 
At the end of the program, they presented their game at the Game Play Expo; during the Games for Change 2012 festival.

First Day in Geocaching 

It was a regular day then, Sheila told me about a program that seemed very interesting. In this session we learned to pay attention to political issues. Certain topics we discussed pertained to peoples everyday life problems, it was interesting to learn that theres so much going on in society.