Fun is the reward! – flying, climbing and winning at w00t

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“If we live a life that is boring enough, we will be rewarded.” You know some people who seem to live by that assumption? You probably do.  But the answer is no! NO! Fun is the reward!

That was the message from the American game guru Bernie Dekoven – the first speaker at the Copenhagen Play Festival w00t, which took place in Copenhagen from 30th of May to 1st of June 2014.

“Everyone has their own playful path”, he says. “Have faith in your playfulness”. And so, I went playing. Here are some of the stuff I caught on camera before my iPhone battery gave up on all that exhausting playfulness and went to sleep.


1. Flying the drones – controlled by the iPhone.

2014-05-31 12.03.10The amazing quadricopters! After downloading a Parrot app, you controlled the drones with your iPhone. Unfortunately, my iPhone battery didn’t enjoy it as much as I did.

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With the right technique, it was like taking a flying and slightly out-of-control dog for a walk.

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OR, sometimes, a slightly out-of-control gas balloon. With a camera. Yup, in defense of my mysteriously lazy iPhone battery, I discovered (when arriving home) that the drone had filmed everything, leaving fun little clips on my camera roll. Oh, the future possibilities. Fun footage!

And just imagine feeding that fun footage from the quadricopters into the Oculus Rift? This will happen in the near future, of course, and we will all be sitting in our sofas strapped into the oculus and flying across the world with the weightless drone cameras.

2. Climbing the stairs of the Great Gottlieb

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But before we get to the future of Virtual Reality with all its inevitable flying, bungee jumping and roller coaster rides, the interactive illustrator and 3D enthusiast Daniel Ernst from Holland has found perfect use of the present  capacity of the technology.

He was at w00t with his amazing installation The Great Gottlieb – a virtual diorama, picturing the world of a romantic acrobat positioned on a high tower of chairs under a starry sky. Watching other people experiencing the dioroma was fun, but the inside was pure magic.

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Having to climb the installation before entering the oculus world enhanced the feeling of sitting on top of the hiiiigh tower of stacked chairs. Screenshots won’t do the experience any justice, but this gives you an idea of the setup:


And yes, it was for the kids, too.

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Daniel Ernst has worked on The Great Gottlieb diorama for two months, and I can’t wait to see more of his work. A bit later in the day, I got a chance to try his first oculus diorama: “Blocked In”. You are in a room, watching a tetris apocalypse (LOL) unfolding through the windows.

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I wanted SO BAD to leave the flat and take a walk in the ominous tetris rain, but we will have to wait for the technology to catch up with that dream… Until then: Check out Daniel Ernst’s work here:

Back to reality. Time to play Laundry Badminton.

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Is was planning to go to w00t all along, but if I hadn’t, reading about this game in the festival program would have convinced me to come. In Laundry Badminton, the net is a laundry line filled with clothing.

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When the shuttlecock hits the ground, the losing team must put on one piece of clothing per time the shuttlecock went over the net. PERFECT idea! – brought to w00t by Tom Russotti from The Institute of Aesthletics.

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When it comes to sports games, no matter how twisted the rules are, I LIKE WINNING. Oh, the exciting rush of going to the finals! But then my upcoming opponents put nylon stockings over their heads and reminded me that this might not be about winning, but about … well… looking weird.

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..and funny. And happy. And just a wee bit retarded.

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I would strongly suggest for everyone to try this at home.

Stuck up on more playful ideas (including aquadditch, water pong and triolectic soccer) on the w00t festival website. See you next year.

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