cProgramme: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: contact making seminar
Venue: Barcelona, Spain
Dates: 14—20 November 2021
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: Collectiu La Vibria Diniciatives Culturals Per La Tolerancia i La Integracio
Czech team: Elizaveta Negreeva, Sarah Horáková
Results and tools of the project: here
Sometimes spontaneous decisions turn out to be unexpectedly great. I applied for a Gamestorming contact-making seminar very casually, without much thinking about how to put my thoughts into words and just letting them flow into the browser window – I was very curious about the topic and the infopack seemed so seductive, I just couldn’t wait to submit the application. And I did expect to learn more about using games in my daily life – after all, I am both a teacher and an aspiring HR specialist; maybe meet a couple of nice people and spend a few nights out in Barcelona. Who wouldn’t like that? However – the project I was lucky (indeed, extremely lucky!) to take part in was incredible and exceeded all expectations, raising the bar very high in my head.
We embarked on this journey on the 14th of November, when the whole team landed in Barcelona. There were the two of us from the Czech Republic – Sarah and I. After the first-day awkwardness stepped aside, we got acquainted with all the participants. With the help of the games, of course. Catalonia, Italy, Lithuania, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, France, Scotland, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, and also Czechia – that’s a lot of people, right? But the more the merrier – despite we were all so different, we managed to get along fast and really well. The project finished on November 20th, I am writing this report two weeks after– and our WhatsApp chat is still very much alive!
The goal of the seminar was to connect people to share ideas and best practices of using games in non-formal education and youth information. Every day we took part in various sessions – let me speak for myself, my horizons broadened so much I never knew they can actually be this broad. I love games (who doesn’t), I use games a lot, but brainstorming about the concept of gamification itself, all the nuances and the theory behind, is something different and exciting. Of course, we played many games – not only the ones that already exist, but also the ones we invented ourselves! Never have I ever thought I would take part in creating an escape room. Actually, two escape rooms even. We created a network of passionate young people with different backgrounds and mutually exchanged tons of tips and tricks on how to use gamification in our daily life, while learning to do that in a fun, informative and engaging way. Needless to say, we really had to use imagination and creativity – so language skills were not the only skills we took to the next level! We also got a chance to test out some really interesting things – such as image theater and virtual reality.
Actually, even the city tour that we’ve had was gamified. We were looking for the clues and the answers to the puzzles around the Gothic quarter in Barcelona, admiring the views and also running around to be faster than our competitors. We tasted the local cuisine as well, both during the nights out in the city and during one of the Intercultural nights. The intercultural nights were awesome, by the way! We also played traditional games from some of the countries, and it was great – a couple of them was very challenging, making it even more enjoyable.
To sum up, I would like to thank everyone involved in the organization and execution of this project for making it happen. The experience I gained just in a few days is invaluable, really – there was so much knowledge and skills boosting. It was carefully executed by the organizers in a very friendly supportive atmosphere, where every opinion was warmly welcomed, and creativity was overflowing. This was a mind-changing experience!