Berlin du bist so wunderbar [June 2 (Mon)]

On Sunday we did nothing but go to a park to relax after the jam and have a final gathering with the Paderborn students. I’m not a huge fan of nature, especially in the summer thanks to bugs, but with food and friends any environment can be a nice one. At the end of the day we said our goodbyes for the next morning we would be heading off to Berlin, where only a portion of the Paderborn students would be accompanying us.

The next morning we were on the suffocating train to Berlin. The train ride was not a particularly enjoyable one, though I at least got to at least try and rest in the sauna of a train compartment as opposed to my jam members hard at work on our game. We would have no time to rest after exiting the train, since after getting our local transportation passes for the week we only made a brief stop at our hotel (motel?) before heading to the building for the Bundestag, the German parliament.

There we got to hear from a politician himself on how the government looks at games and what they are trying to do with them from this point. In the past, video games were targeted by the government and blamed for things like addiction in children and school shootings. However, that perception has generally changed and games are being treated as a more serious medium for art and education through things such as awards given by the government.

We also learned that the EU wants to standardize laws involving data protection, specifically how much of it companies can compile and what they do with it. Companies like Google and Facebook have a huge amount of data, but what is done with it is unregulated. The goal is not to restrict how much data they can take and use, but rather make more transparent for the sake of the user what is done with their information.

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