Pixel World

What is the project about?

Super Mario is a thing of the past; now there’s Super CityLAB Berlin! For our 2021 Summer Fest, we transformed our workspace in the historic Tempelhof airport building into a digital pixel world! Not only does this space enable spontaneous social interactions in a digital world, but it also turns the experience of exploring our workspace into a video game-like adventure.

Using hundreds of thousands of tiny pixels, we were able to create a 2D model of the Lab which visitors can explore, represented by a custom avatar. There are all sorts of surprises hidden through the various rooms, giving users an incentive to explore every inch. Players can interact with objects, listen to specific sounds, virtually explore our exhibition, and engage in spontaneous video chats in the hallways (just like in real life).

How does it work?

The system is based on the WebRTC standard, which enables real-time communication via browser-to-browser connections while minimizing potential server load. Workadventure’s software was successfully used at the first virtual Chaos Communication Congress in December 2020. Participants can see their own position in the virual world as well as those of others; if multiple users meet, a video chat for up to four people automatically opens up. Larger meetings use an external Jitsi server that’s integrated into the world. Since the project is open source, it’s constantly being worked on and improved.

What are the next steps?

After receiving so much positive feedback at our summer party, we decided to open the Pixelwelt more regularly for virtual events in the future, like guided tours, virtual visits to our exhibition or smaller events like our Community Meetup. But before we start hosting such events, we have a few finishing touches we’d like to put on our digital CityLAB Berlin.

You can visit the latest version of our pixelLAB here: https://play.workadventu.re/_/global/technologiestiftung.github.io/pixelwelt/map.json

Do you have a hacker or makerspace that you would like to connect to CityLAB Berlin, or would you like to host a small event or meetup in our virtual Lab? Get in touch with us!