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Gather one, gather all in gather.town for our 5th Network-Wide Event

The 5th CHARMING Network-Wide Event happened between the 22nd and the 26th of March and it also took place online due to ongoing pandemic. The event was hosted by IT University of Copenhagen and participants gathered in the browser based virtual environment called gather.town.

The IT University of Copenhagen brings to the CHARMING table knowledge and expertise in the areas of play, games, and technology. Stationed at the IT University are two of our CHARMING ESRs, Nina Croitoru and Silvia Fornos, and one supervisor and Work Package leader, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath.

To imbue some playfulness in the event, participants were matched with someone else in the project and were asked to design a LEGO mini-figure version of them. The activity was well received, and the designs were nothing short of amazing! Take a look at our 15 ESRs:

Lego 15 ESRs collage

The figures were delivered to the participants in a parcel containing many other Danish goodies like licorice and schnapps. In the package participants could also find an assorted selection of Legos to build with and their own brand-new Arduino Starter Kit. Some ESRs got especially creative with their Lego. Below you can see Phillipe Chan’s amazing racing car and Jessica Dominguez Alfaro’s imaginary chemical plant:

The online platform, gather.town. maintained the playful tone. Sporting the aesthetic of an old-school game with pixel graphics, it welcomed participants in its vast courtyard. From here, participants could reach several other locations like the lecture hall or the rooftop terrace where the presentations of the 15 ESRs were set-up.

The first two days were filled with various reports, presentations, and discussions about how the CHARMING project is progressing and about the progress of the individual ESRs.

ITU BeachITU Courtyard

The last three days featured a variety of interesting lectures and workshops. Miguel Sicart kickstarted the training sessions with his workshop on Game Design. A rollercoaster of other interesting lectures and topics followed. Some were situated in the humanities, like Rachel Douglas Jones’ lecture on “Ethics and Integrity in Games”, others were emerging from a technological perspective, like Sebastian Risi’s “Introduction to Game AI”. Laura Beloff’s wonderful lecture on “The Engineer-Artist Divide” bridged the two dimensions presenting an assortment of interesting projects that thrive at this intersection.

On the last day of the event, participants got a chance to try out their Arduino kit in the workshop on “Hardware, Electronics and Sensors” by Sebastian Büttrich. Using the Arduino UNO, a light transistor and a piezo, our CHARMING bunch created a light controlled theremin.

theremin softwaretheremin hardware

The event ended with a small gathering on the virtual beach where everyone celebrated another productive Network-Wide Event together.

We hope to have a face-to-face meeting next time around!

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