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.

[In the Media] Digital Media’s Young Innovators 

Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s Education Director, recently introduced a new series of posts highlighting the work of youth in digital media production, including two teens in Global Kids' Online Leadership Programs, Mariel Garcia and Nafiza Akter.

[staff] My Testimony For Congress (had I been asked)... 

On April 1st, the 110th Congress Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing entitled Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars in a User-Generated Medium.

Listening to the testimony, it was hard not to imagine what I might have shared were I asked to testify. It might have gone something somewhat like this:

Chairman Markey, Ranking Member Stearns, and Members of the Subcommittee, we at Global Kids are honored to have this opportunity to share our experiences as experts working with youth and virtual worlds.

To provide background, in 2006, following extensive research into the educational potential of virtual worlds, Global Kids became the first nonprofit to develop a dedicated space for conducting educational programming in Teen Second Life (TSL). Specifically, Global Kids is conducting intensive leadership programming for youth, bringing students from its New York-based programs into the space, and streaming the audio and video of major events into the world. This work has received significant funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, among others, and been conducted in partnership with many other organizations, including UNICEF, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the International Criminal Court.

[vvp] UNICEF video on Global Kids Summer Camp 

UNICEF just posted a new video report, and transcript, about our Convention on the Rights of the Child Summer Camp, which we ran last summer in Second Life.

Please check it out here.

[sl/intern/teen] CRC@18 

Hello everybody! I am Nicholas Kit ingame! This is my first year as an intern and I was really excited to know that I got accepted. This wednesday, I held my first intern event, called CRC@18. What it basically was, was the celebration of the CRC's 18th birthday. The CRC is the Convention on the Rights of the Child. What it basically does is gives all minors a stress-free and healthy life to grow up with. It was written by the United Nations and has been accepted by every country except Somolia and the United States. Even though every country has it, it doesn't mean that it is enforced. That is what the goal of this event was.

The main goal of this event was to teach teens about there rights, as given to them by the CRC. Most teens do not know what all their rights are, so this event was really helpful. We started the event off by showing 10 one-minute machinimas which were created by the CRC Machinima Camp this summer.


In the summer of 2007, Unicef and Global Kids launched the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Machinima Camp in the virtual world of Teen Second Life (TSL). Teens from around the world gathered together for five weeks to learn about children's rights, and produced ten 1-minute Machinima films on the issues they identified in the CRC. Each film is unique in its own way. We hope you enjoy them!

click below to view the videos:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A diverse group of New York City public high school students have produced an important animated new film that focuses on the increasingly serious issue of child soldiers.

The film, A Child’s War, will be presented this Friday, September 7, at 6:00 pm at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Entry for the screening is free. The press is invited. The young animators will be available to discuss their work. The Museum is located at 35th Avenue and 36th Street in Astoria, Queens. It can be accessed by subway (R or V trains to Steinway Street; N or W trains to 36th Ave). RSVP: afterschool@movingimage.us.

A Child’s War is the culmination of the year-long Virtual Video Project, an after-school program conducted by Global Kids, Inc. in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image. During the past year, the students gathered regularly to learn about film production, global issues, and virtual worlds, producing A Child’s War, a year-end project on the plight of child soldiers in Uganda.

Global Kids is the foremost nonprofit organization in New York City specifically dedicated to educating students in underserved communities about international and public policy issues.

[CRC] CRC Machinima Camp Photos! 

These are the campers building one thing all together. They each added one small part to create a final product! They all stood in a line and were very cooperative.

All of the campers lined up to add in their part~ to the build!

This is a close up of a camper working on his part of the build!

This is a bird's-eye-view shot of the props that JOEY made for his machinima.

On the left is the theater on Global Kids Machinima Island, and to the right is where all the Campers meet!

This is when Machinima Guru or Moo Money came and talked to the campers about storyboarding and showed them how to do it. Also, she made a storyboard to showed it to them as an example!

[CRC] The Convention on the Rights of the Child Summer Camp has begun! 

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting around the campfire of Camp GK 2006, and going over what we had done that day. It's been over a year, and I'm happy to say that I'm reporting for the CRC Machinima camp this year smile.gif! The first day of camp went really well, and Tabitha, Meghan, and Mercury all did amazing jobs.

The day started out great! Tabitha, Meghan, and Mercury all introduced themselves to the campers, and began to explain the rules and guidelines for camp this year, (Safe Space, One Mic, Participation, PBC [people before computers]). After we all understood and discussed the rules, we all got to introduce ourselves, and show an item that represented us. We saw many different things; a car, a necklace, some posters, and some pretty intresting shoestongue.gif. We all then moved to the amazing movie theater that Brooke Barmy put together for the camp, and watched some movies on Child Rights. After a discussion on them; it was time to close up for the day! It went by rather fast, and I'm looking forward to many more sessions of the camp. :)

[sl] GK Machinima Camp Kickoff Extravaganza Event 

Today on Global Kids Island, we held an event to premier “A Child’s War” – a machinima video created by Global Kids youth leaders in Queens, New York, followed by a GK leader youth panel discussing the creation of the film, and finally, we unveiled the details about the Global Kids CRC Machinima Summer Camp in Second Life!

A Child's War screening_005

Teens from all over the grid came over to Global Kids Island to partake in this event, most of which were eager to learn about the Machinima Camp details. We are very excited to start receiving and processing applications immediately for this program, so make sure to send yours in asap if you are interested.

A Child's War screening_002

Information about the Machinima Camp can be found here.

Application for Machinima Camp can be found here.