We took the Augmented Reality Waterscape table on the road for the first time to the inaugural Youth Green Jobs Summit organized by August Ball and Cream City Conservation Corps (C4) and hosted by the Wisconsin Black Historical Societ on March 15, 2018.
The table ignited the curiosity of over hundred people, many of them area students. The awe and excitement glowed on their faces as Reflo's Jose Basaldua and game designer Bryn Summers shared the story of the table.
At first some people were tentative about touching the sand to change the virtual watershed contours, but soon they were building mountains, craters, lakes, valleys, and canals of their own devising--not to mention exerting the power to make it rain with nothing but their outspread fingers!
Youth who participated in the first-ever Milwaukee summit connected with local environmental nonprofits to forge connections and learn about career pathways right here in Milwaukee. It was a high-energy day, with high school youth charged to "take over" the city's water, energy, food, soil, and natural spaces sectors not only for jobs but so their voices are represented in decisions affecting our city's relationship to the environment.
C4's August Ball reminded the audience that young people have always driven epochal change by demanding it. Addressing the young people, she declared her hope and her challenge that they not only participate to find job pathways but also to transform our society: "You are not just our future. You are our now."
Our team coordinated to transport, set up, and calibrate the AR table off-site. We joked throughout the process about our "SOP"--standard operating procedures--regarding transporting this novel and bulky device, which requires a bit of disassembly and reassembly. Things we learned: bring hand sanitizer and a hand broom.
All in all, transport worked fairly well.
Friday, March 16 features the first formal playtest of our paper prototype role-playing game. If you or a group are interested in participating in future playtests, drop us a line!