Over the weekend, I participated in the Festival of Learning at the Media Lab. It was a student organized event in the spirit of the MIT Independant Activities Period, but even scrappier and more agile. It was a blast and reminded me why the Media Lab is so cool.
The Festival of Learning was a two-day festival on 27-28 Jan 2012, where anyone from MIT's E14 and E15 could teach, learn, and collaborate!
Check out our EPIC LIST OF FESTIVAL SESSIONS, with photos, slides, source code, blog posts, and descriptions for everything that happened!
Also check out the videos below and our Flickr group to see what happened. We made mochi, painted faces, learned CAD, sang two notes at once, played MMOs, built fighter kites, filled a balloon room, discussed research methods, and much much more :-)
I organized a session on MMOs with Misha and we talked about the history of and the theory behind MMOs and did a demo. We used Star Wars the Old Republic instead of the World of Warcraft because it's the shiny new MMO. We tried to show what a group activity looked like by running a Flash Point, but it turns out that it wasn't that interesting and we lost some of our participants while we tried to quickly go through the instance. One of the problems is that it's hard to focus on playing a game while explaining what's going on. I think that there is a more fundamental difficulty in demoing online worlds, especially immersive ones.
Later we let people roll characters of their own and try playing. I think that part was a bit more successful.
This is the first MMO workshop that I've ever tried to organize and we learned a lot. I'm not positive what the perfect format is, but I'm hoping we get a chance to do it again and that we can iterate on it.