Tech company AMD says that the AMD Foundation, in support of AMD Changing the Game, has awarded a grant to San Antonio, TX PBS affiliate KLRN to help enable youth to create games around social issues in Whyville.net, a learning-based virtual world on the Internet.
Once games are created, KLRN will help youth develop video shorts featuring the game creation process including interviews with “Whyvillians” discussing what they learned about creating games.
As the virtual world phenomenon is gaining momentum, Disney has announced that Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue video game for Nintendo DS includes new interconnectivity elements with the Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow online virtual world (www.pixiehollow.com), which further immerses players into the Disney Fairies fantasy. (Read: Disney Fairies Going to Play in the Virtual World)
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Also, Stardoll joins hands with Random House Children’s Books to deliver Mortal Kiss, a virtual story aimed at teens. Mortal Kiss is the first interactive story Random House has published on a social networking platform. (Read: Mortal Kiss Interactive Story for Teens)
“KLRN, Whyville and AMD share a common goal of leveraging technology in innovative ways to help excite kids about learning,” said Allyson Peerman, president, AMD Foundation.
“This project will allow us to scale the reach of youth game development to millions of registered players in Whyville.net, and especially help us to reach and empower more young women, a key demographic in Whyville’s virtual world.”
KLRN will broadcast the videos and make them available to PBS stations nationwide. These video shorts will be used to promote game design activities to children, parents and teachers.
The grant, totaling $200,000, is given in support of AMD’s education initiative, AMD Changing the Game. The initiative promotes social issue game development as a tool to inspire youth to learn and improve science, technology, education and math (STEM) skills, while at the same time becoming more aware of global social issues such as energy, the environment, public health and poverty.
“KLRN, as do all PBS affiliates, takes pride in providing exceptional programming to advance education and culture,” said William G. Moll, president and CEO of KLRN.
“Our television station has a long history of effective educational outreach. This innovative collaboration with AMD and Whyville is right on target to inspire a lifelong love of learning in all children.”
The program is slated to begin with the launch of the AMD “Game Pavilion” within Whyville in early October which will serve as the virtual world hub for these projects, said AMD in a statement issued today, Sept. 29.