Playing 4 Keeps

Emoti-Con! 2012 

Without hesitation everyone involved agreed that this year's Emoti-Con! was the BEST EVER! We saw over 150 youth bring their energy and a-game as they set up the projects they worked so hard on over the course of the year. The diversity of mediums ranged from film, scratch, projects using arduino boards, geolocative gaming, robotics and so much more. Youth heard from four amazing keynote speakers including: Mike Edwards, software engineer at The Huffington Post; Ayah Bdeir, founder of; Jeffrey Yohalem, lead writer of Assasin's Creed: Brotherhood; and Naveen Selvadurai, co-founder of foursquare. 


Global Kids represented with three projects including the Playing for Peace Challenge, NYC Haunts, and the debut of Cut It Out a documentary made by GK Leaders at Long Island City H.S. on truancy. 


Taking home crowd favorite was a team from MOUSE who developed Dining Bands. These bands worn on the wrist were to aid the visually impaired while dining. They would vibrate near food to let its user know where it was and had a sensor for temperature to warn the user when their food was too hot. 


Overall, the day was a great success and we will have many more videos and photos to share. For now feel free to check out the gallery thus far and watch a brief reflection from two NYC Haunts youth who attended the festival. GK Leader Paoly said it best as she summed up her thoughts:


Global Kids Youth Leaders Visit BrainPop 

After a wonderful professional development event at BrainPop last March (re: Global Kids Game Night at BrainPop), in which two youth within our Playing For Keeps program spoke to around four dozen NYC-area educators, all of the P4K youth were invited to return for an official visit to the offices.

Global Kids Announces Winner of the AMD Playing For Peace Challenge on Gamestar Mechanic and Launches New Game Design Challenge on Media Influence


Global Kids's afterschool Playing For Keeps Program, funded by the AMD Foundation, has partnered with E-Line Media to co-produce their recurring social impact game design challenges. These challenges ask youth across American to use the GamestarMechanic web site to create and publish games addressing various social issues. This past March saw the launch of the first partnership between the Global Kids youth leaders and the staff at E-Line Media: The Playing For Peace Challenge, which asked youth to make games promoting peacing and ending war.


After reviewing over 1000 games, the winning entry, designed by username 1436891, is entitled Pointless War. This multilevel game puts the player in the middle of a brutal war and challenges them to get important world leaders past obstacles to arrive at a peace summit.

5/16/12, New York—Using smart phones to map skateboarding hotspots in New York City, learning to view media critically by remixing commercials that reinforce stereotypes about older adults, projecting multimedia projects on building facades. Welcome to learning 3.0. 



Grants from Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust support NYC nonprofits working with teens to develop ways of tapping into their digital lives to encourage creativity, interests, and learning. All grantees are members of Hive Learning Network NYC and work together on projects, sharing what works—and what doesn’t—in the ever-evolving worlds of digital media and education.


For more information about the projects listed below, or to arrange a visit to see the work in action, contact Ani Hurwitz at (212) 686-0010 x224 or at


“These projects are driven by the topics, platforms, and technologies that interest youth most,” says Chris Lawrence, director of Mozilla’s Hive Learning Network NYC. “This third round of funding supports both expanded versions of existing projects as well as new initiatives that share resources, expertise, and best practices as we continue to build an innovative, collaborative network of informal learning organizations across the five boroughs.”  


GK's OLP Youth Leaders at the GK Annual Youth Conference 

Youth from two GK OLP programs -  NYC Haunts and Playing 4 Keeps - attended and presented at the 2012 Annual Youth Conference. Below are some photos show their awesome work and good times that were had.





Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Nonprofit Commons Recap: Will Play Games for Peace 

Nonprofit Commons posted a write up of a recent visit from Global Kids. Check it out!

Global Kids Game Night at BrainPop 

Andrew Gardner posted a great write up on the presentation on Playing for Peace led by Barry Joseph and Global Kids Leaders Ednica and Kendell. Check out the post below!

Global Kids Student Spotlight: Kendell Francis 

Kendell Francis

A junior at Benjamin Banneker Academy in Brooklyn, Kendell Francis originally joined GK's Playing 4 Keeps (P4K) program as a way to gain community service credit while practicing an activity he already loved: video games. However, since joining P4K, Kedell say his perspective has changed. "P4K is helping me think about how I view the world. It's helping me re-evaluate my relationship with media. Now I think about what I can do to affect the media and teach others." With the support of Global Kids trainers, he has even begun to look at collegiate programs in game design. Kendell says his goal is "to focus on building more realistic games that address everyday issues."  Playing 4 Keeps emphasizes social impact game design as a tool for exploring issues such as resource management, conflict and the influence of media on youth.

Example of Youth/Game Designer Collaboration in Playing For Keeps 

As the Global Kids Youth Leaders are set to launch their first Social Impact Game Design challenge with E-Line Media, we thought an example of their close collaboration would be of interest.

Below is the banner, designed by the youth within Gamestar Mechanic, that was shared with E-Line's designers:

It shows two forces in confrontation and a protagonist caught in the middle, protecting the resources desired by the two.

Below is the final banner designed by the awesome crew at E-Line:

It was adapted for this button, as well:

GK Youth Leaders Launch Playing For Peace Game Design Challenge 


With funds provided by the AMD Foundation, Global Kids youth leaders have been working with E-Line media to develop their first collaborative AMD Social Impact Game Design Challenge, which launched this month: Playing For Peace. Youth around the country are being asked to use Gamestar Mechanic to design games promoting peace and the end of war.

These high school students chose the topic of ending war, developed the challenge game about two societies in conflict over shared water resources, worked on the design brief and banner, and will be amongst the team of judges.

The challenge ends April 30, 2012. The top prize winner will win an AMD-powered laptop, a three year Premium Subscription to Gamestar Mechanic, and a personalized t-shirt featuring original Gamestar Mechanic artwork and a screenshot of their game.