Friday, February 01, 2008

My G-Life: Game Design with a Mission

Cool site alert! An article was published in the BBC news online a few weeks ago (but I only just now had the chance to research it) about a new "social networking site" aimed at enabling teens around the world (aged 13+) to learn game design/development skills and then share their final products...all under the Creative Commons license. The site is called My GLife.org, and is currently in beta-mode, operating with only a bare bones structure and no teen-designed games as of yet. Some media and marketing (?) companies have donated simple flash games as examples, though, to give visitors and potential developers a sense of what they're looking for. Here's an excerpt from the official description of the site:
Through an open architecture of websites and related wikis and blogs, MyGLife participants learn to analyze, design and build web-based games and simulations that address globally relevant and social issues of their choice and passion. Topics include climate change, ecology, water, community services, technology skills, peace and more.

[...]

MyGLife.org is comprised of an open architecture of educational, programmable websites and related wikis that offer more than 100 educational activities, simulations and tutorials to play, learn, explore and contribute new ideas online.

* PLAY to Learn invites participants to play with an arcade of games, puzzles, creative tools and scientific simulations and to think about them critically as game developers. Donated and open source customized tutorials allow participants to tinker with the underlying game code and learn programming skills.

* LEARN to Build features an extensive library of hand-picked, custom written and open source tutorials for learning Flash, HTML, Graphic Design, Wiki, Blogging and Project Development skills.

* EXPLORE Web 2.0 Resources features links to recommended online resources and lists of suggested readings that will help participants.

* CONTRIBUTE Knowledge and Support encourages participants to follow-up their learning by contributing works back to the site. Professional developers and organizations worldwide can also donate work and learn how to start MyGLife programs locally.

The project is run by an organization called World Wide Workshop, which I hadn't heard of before now, but appears to have a pretty awesome goal of spreading global participation in digital cultural production to groups that are most often excluded, in this case young people from disadvantaged communities in developing countries worldwide.

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