Ayiti: The Cost of Life
Ayiti challenges its players to manage a rural family of five in Haiti over four years.
Global Kids has established itself as an innovative leader in using online games to promote global awareness and engaged citizenship. Through the Playing 4 Keeps program, Global Kids trains urban youth to develop games about important world issues. This work has been cited as a best practice within Henry Jenkins’s report for the MacArthur Foundation. Global Kids’ gaming programs are made possible through collaborative relationships with the game design company Gamelab, UNICEF, and TakingITGlobal, among others. Playing 4 Keeps (P4K) uses online games as a form of youth media informed by international issues. Together with Gamelab, an independent game company, Global Kids developed an innovative curriculum for engaging youth in the design, development and dissemination of high quality games that have the potential to educate their peers around the world. Playing 4 Keeps is supported by Microsoft’s U.S. Partners in Learning Mid-Tier initiative. Last year, Global Kids Youth Leaders gained leadership, research, and game design skills while producing a socially conscious online game, Ayiti: The Cost of Life. The youth chose to design a game that focuses on the issue of poverty as an obstacle to education and uses the country of Haiti as a case study. The game and its associated curriculum were released through UNICEF’s Child Alert: Haiti website and TakingITGlobal’s network of over 170,000 educators worldwide. Curriculum material is available for educators. Since it was released in October 2006, hundreds of thousands of people have played Ayiti. The game and the after school component are being evaluated by the Center for Children and Technology.