Can You Fly A Drone Better Than South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill?

Can You Fly A Drone Better Than South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill?
Image: Rae Johnston

If you’re in Radelaide this weekend and have the urge to hit up a technology festival filled with projects, panels and inspiration for everything from biotech to eSports, you’re in luck.

At Hybrid World Adelaide you’ll get hands on with retro gaming, robotics, AI and yes – drones. But there’s so much more to the event than there seems.

Creative Director Janet Gaeta (Australian gaming legend, formerly of ABC’s Good Game) says Hybrid World is anything but a “stand back and look” event.

“It’s a stay, play, learn, talk ask and try, hands-on, truly interactive five-day experience.”

Today’s festivities include a 90 minute game building challenge, Spawn Point‘s Bajo and Rad revealing theor gaming history with a special “How Gaming Made Us Who We Are” panel and a beginner-friendly workshop teaching the fundamentals of robot movement programming and automation.

There’s also some experts chatting the oft-debated topic of “screen time” and She Flies – a girls-only drone tutorial session aiming to provide a safe space for girls to develop their interest in drones.

In the LAN area League of Legends is getting a workout today, switching to Minecraft tomorrow – when Code Club will be holding robotics and coding workshops for kids, free.

I’ve been hanging out here the last couple of days, and I have two favourites things you must check out if you come down. The first is the retro gaming area, run by Retrospect. You’ll know of these guys and girls if you’re a frequent convention-goer, and their playable collection is the hit of nostalgia you never realised you needed.

The second is the Portal, run by Shared Studios. Stepping inside this unassuming gold-painted shipping container, you’re greeted by someone from the other side of the world, in full size, in real time.

You could end up have a live conversation with someone in Amman, Jordan – there is a Portal located at 3Dmena, an advanced technologies incubator. Or in the Harsham Camp for IDPs and refugees on the northern edge of Erbil, Iraq.

I spoke to a man in Amani Park, Milwalkee. It is an area that has the highest African-American male incarceration rate of any zip code in America. The Portal there is run in partnership with COA Youth and Family Center, a community development organization, the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, and a bunch of other organisations working on issues ranging from police-community relations to job trainings.

The man I spoke to now works as a corrections officer, but spent a lot of his life behind bars. He has been shot five times. It is not what I expected from a visit to a technology convention. But I suppose that’s what Hybrid World is – challenging what you’d expect from a world filled with tech – and showing how it can bring us together, rather than isolate us.

You can find out more about Hybrid World Adelaide right here.