Congrats to the 100-some teens from all over New York City who participated in the first NYC Youth Digital Media & Technology Festival at the New School. The daylong festival spotlighted the growing movement among teenagers in New York and nationally to design video games, films and other digital tools to advance social causes in a youthful and technologically literate language.
I was super proud of our Global Kids' teens for presenting themselves and their projects so well, including showing of their serious issue machinima "Discovered" to an outside audience for the first time! Teens involved in our Media Masters and Expressions programs also got to present about their work to other teens and adults in a tech fair like atmosphere.
One of the coolest parts of the program was the "Playing for Keeps" Challenge. Three different teams of teens from NY public libraries in Staten Island, the Bronx and Manhattan presented their social issue game designs in front of a "jury" of game experts and the audience. Then we all got to vote for our favorite game design. I was happy to see that the media-control game "UI" won for best game, which would fit really nicely into Global Kids programs if it ever got produced.
I also was super-impressed by the animation program at the Parsons Pre-College Academy, which allows budding teen artists to create really entertaining and hilarious animated shorts using Flash. It got my creative juices flowing, envisioning a social issue animation program at Global Kids.
All-in-all a really fun afternoon with some great New York teens and programs. Big ups to MOUSE, the NY Public Library, PetLab, and Parsons New School, who partnered with Global Kids to throw this successful event.