Saturday, September 02, 2006

Global Kids Online Dialogues and Serious Online Games

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future


Darfur Campaign At Global Kids Island

Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program (OLP), now in its sixth year, integrates the use of the Internet into GK’s programming. The OLP equips youth with the skills necessary to use the Internet as a tool for research and social change and develops online resources for educators and young people to promote civic engagement and global literacy.

GK has developed innovative online programs in two major areas: online dialogues to engage youth in discussions of policy issues and socially conscious online games.

These online projects target youth from politically and economically marginalized communities. They have the chance to experience the Internet as a place for self-improvement, as a place for connecting with others in a meaningful way, and as a place to work with others to take action around an important social issue.

In this context, Global Kids Digital Media Youth Initiative (DMI) was launched in January of 2006 -- a series of related programs designed to encourage and assist teenagers in thinking critically about the role of digital media in their lives and documenting their experiences with digital media. The DMI is funded by the John D.and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, supporting Global Kids’ in gathering young people’s views on the role of digital media in their lives.

Global Kids Island within Teen Second Life is one great example. GK Island provides youth with a space in which their characters can participate in a myriad of educational workshops and games that address topics such as public diplomacy and social inequity, among others. In the process, players learn how to communicate, collaborate, negotiate and mobilize a range of resources to take social action online and offline.


Welcome to Global Kids Island

Second Life is a 3D virtual world in which the residents are provided with the tools required to literally shape the world around them. Teen Second Life is a space restricted to 13-17 year olds. Beginning in February, 2006, Global Kids has been exploring how to bring a youth development model around global issues into an island within this teen grid.


Magicians Working At Global Kids 1st Island

Within GK Island, Global Kids has created a series of interactive and experiential workshops on such topics as Citizenship, Diversity, Global Health, Violence, Human Rights, Women, and Foreign Policy


Neutral Platform At Global Kids Island

In these workshops, members have discussed racism within virtual worlds, the genocide in Darfur, public diplomacy, the pros and cons of online relationships, and the digital divide.



Final Build