Farewell, My Turnabout [June 6 (Fri)]

Thursday was a free day, but I felt ill that morning so for me it just ended up being a sleep day. The week was packed with back-to-back events anyways, so the rest was appreciated. Friday marked the last day of events for our program and consisted of visiting the Computerspielemuseum (Computer Game Museum), and a trip to the company Wargaming.net.

The museum was a lot smaller than I expected, though I shouldn’t have been surprised considering its very specific focus. I blame having gone to the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester which is pretty large, though focuses on far more than just video games. We had a guided tour at first, which I personally found uninteresting I am sad to say. The most engaging part to me was the end where we saw a bit of the games developed in East Germany during the Cold War. After some free time at the museum (where I learned I am still bad at Donkey Kong) we left.

Wargaming was located in a popular area in Berlin, a bit suffocating considering the small amount of space they had consisting of a few rooms in an apartment. We broke into small groups and rotated between the three people there to learn about the company, their flagship title World of Tanks, and the industry. One important thing I learned there, as emphasised by Jorg, is how many opportunities the industry gives you. One of the big men of the company had a lot of different struggles and failures, such as not liking a company he worked for was heading and starting his own, to dealing with bankruptcy and being in the red for years before seeing a silver lining, to being where he is today. The visit was short as the workers needed to get ready for E3 which was right the next Tuesday. That last little fact was another little spark to rekindle my passion for making games; someday I’d like to be at E3 to show of something I helped work on.

The day finally ended with a grand dinner after which some shared farewells and we broke off to rest for the next morning where people would begin to depart. In the end I can say I really enjoyed the trip. I learned a lot and experienced even more. I think this study abroad will be a defining point in how I approach school and work in the coming years and I hope everything that happened here will aid me in becoming what I really want to be in life.

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