Teaching Social Issues through Digital Games

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The Global Kids approach to digital games as tools for youth empowerment and social issue engagement.

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  • How do you talk to your kids about this? Hurricane Katrina. Could you use something like this?
  • or this? A slum in Haiti. Could you use this?
  • or even this? The US criminal justice system. We use this.
  • I’m Rik Panganiban, Assistant Director at OLP Going to talk about the Global Kids approach to digital games as a means to engage young people w social issues and empower them as change agents in the world
  • Teaching Social Issues through digital games
  • NYC nonprofit whose goal is to transform urban youth into global leaders and successful students. We work with at risk youth from marginalized communities in NYC, in schools w very low graduation rates. We use a constructivist pedagogical approach to expose our teens to critical global issues, help them connect it w their own experience, and act positively in their community and the world. run afterschool programs in about 15 HSs and Middle Schools in NYC, as well as at our HQ
  • 9 years ago we started the Online Leadership Program Incorporates digital media into our youth development approach For youth to be effective citizens in 21st century, need to know how to navigate in this increasingly digital society we use a range of media
  • Games, virtual worlds, social media, social networks -- all can have negative connotations We see them some what differently Games: tools for learning about serious issues Virtual worlds: safe spaces for empowering youth voice Social media: tools for youth to better consumers and creators of all sorts of content Social networks: Supporting communities of practice
  • a yearlong after-school program at Southshore HS and Canarsie HS 20 students get to create a digital game about a social issue begin by exploring games as media learning about diff social issues , human rights - choosing an issue deciding on game platform : side scroller, FPS, strategy, maze developing game design document working w game designer to create game
  • Here’s a little promo video that shows how our program works at Carnasie HS
  • Our 1st game is called Ayiti:The Cost of Life issue: access to education and poverty in Haiti resource management game: you are a member of a small family making life choices that effect your future played over a million times used in classrooms, afterschool programs all over the world
  • Our 1st game in Second Life issue: medical experimentation on African-american prisoners inhabit the role of prisoner and have to make choices
  • latest game: hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City issue: disaster response to hurricane katrina you play the role of vivica, a girl who has been relocated to NYC but missing her mom side scroller learn about disaster and what people did
  • impact on teens: sense of accomplishment that they created something that can help raise awareness of an issue Students in program learned teamwork skills, media literacy, specific social issue knowledge, IT skills Impact on players: played 1.5 million times by players around the world "Never have I played a game where I felt so heartbroken and exposed when it was all over... Never have I been so affected by a game before." - Ayiti EDC report on P4K: Players came to understand that a single-minded approach to the problem of staying alive in the game was less useful than some form of balancing the factors of health, money and education. the central idea embedded in the game play, that no single factor accounts for success, appears to have been successfully communicated to the majority of players.
  • we train other institutions to use the GK approach w their kids worked with public housing projects in Boston area and NY Library System we provide educator trainings, curriculum, ongoing phone support, social network
  • Making socially relevant games is HARD WORK. Our P4K programs ask a lot of our teens that participate. a full year commitment, working collaborative, researching, coming to consensus, beta testing. The rewards are great: confidence in themselves, understanding an important issue, having a rich awareness of games as a form of media
  • email us see us at our booth
  • email us see us at our booth
  • Teaching Social Issues through Digital Games

    1. 1. How do you talk to your kids about this?
    2. 2. ...or this?
    3. 3. or even this...
    4. 4. Who I Am Rik Panganiban Assistant Director Online Leadership Program Global Kids
    5. 5. <ul><li>The Global Kids Approach </li></ul>Teaching Social Issues through Digital Games
    6. 6. Who is Global Kids? <ul><li>20 year old youth development nonprofit </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts thousands of youth in NYC and beyond </li></ul><ul><li>www.GlobalKids.org </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Online Leadership Program
    8. 8. How Global Kids Thinks about Digital Media <ul><li>Games: </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds: </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media: </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks: </li></ul>Mindless, violent Tools for Learning Full of weird avatars Empowering Youth Voice Distractions from studies Youth as Smart Creators & Consumers Dangerous, full of predators Supporting Communities of Practice
    9. 9. <ul><li>Global Kids “Playing 4 Keeps” </li></ul><ul><li>Program </li></ul>
    10. 11. The P4K Games
    11. 12. Ayiti: The Cost of Life
    12. 13. Consent!
    13. 14. Hurricane Katrina: Tempest in Crescent City
    14. 15. Our Impact <ul><li>Impact on Teen Game Creators </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on Game Players </li></ul>
    15. 16. Playing 4 Keeps Capacity Building
    16. 17. Conclusion <ul><li>Making socially relevant games is HARD </li></ul><ul><li>The rewards are worth it! </li></ul>
    17. 18. On the Web GlobalKids.org P laying4Keeps.org T e mpestincrescentcity.org Co s tofLife.org Re zEd.org
    18. 19. Thanks! Rik Panganiban [email_address]

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