I attended the World Sustainable Energy Days in Wels, Austria this week. My purpose was to talk a bit about the TRIBE poject which I have been working in with game design and general development for the past two years. I have never been to Wels before, it’s a fairly small town with a bit over 60K inhabitants and no international airport. I stayed at Bildungshaus Schloss in Puchberg which is an old castle repuposed as a conference venue just outside town.
I couldn’t make it in time on the same day which I was supposed to present, so instead I arrived a day early and spent some time checking out the rest of the conference. I’m not really an enegy expert, though I of course find the subject interesting. I would probably not have attended it if I wasn’t a speaker. The veune where we presented was an an old church, repurposed as Muesum and then again repurposed as a conference hall (a recurring theme throughout Austrian towns I was told by a native colleague). We got the tinies space, a small praying room in a corridor next to the mass hall or something. It was very pretty though, and the intereset was really big so people filled up the tiny room and more sat just outside the enterence peeking in. I was surprised to learn that the visitors were unaware of the concept of gamification and knew very little of game design. I managed to keep a fair group of people there well after our session was over, even though I frequently told them that the session was over and they needn’t stay if they didn’t want to, until it was ten mintues till they would lock the building.
All in all, it was a fun conference to present at, and it’s appearantly a fairly reknown one having been held for 20 years now, but I would probably not have attended if it wasn’t for the TRIBE project. I learned that Mozart was born in Salzburg (neighbouring town where I landed with the airplane) and as such “Mozart Balls” (which are also popular in Sweden) originated there as a result. I also got to speak to a lovely lady from Mexico who presented a composite from sugar can ashes and some other rest product which could be used for house construction. Good stuff!