Digital Workshop for Children held by IGDA Japan
Japan| 10 Dec 2021
Featured Piece by Kenji Ono
IGDA Japan SIG-4NG held the “Digital Karakuri Device Making Workshop in Takamatsu” at e-Topia Kagawa (Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture) on Sunday, July 11, 2021. In this workshop, 19 participants, ranging from elementary school students to adults, created a stage based on a motif of Takamatsu City. They collaborated with each other and created 1 big stage with Unity. There were many virtual dominos and characters on the stage and they enjoyed it so much.
With the start of programming education in Japan, there has been a rapid increase in the number of workshops teaching programming and robotics throughout the country. However, these efforts tend to be in the style of individual creation. On the other hand, when you go out into society, the mainstream style is to work together as a team to create something online. It is essential to collaborate with the people around you, so that you are not alone in creating what you want.
This workshop focused on this point, with up to 10 participants creating dominoes on a stage divided into space-saving sections, which were then combined online to create one large stage. We chose the style of connecting ball rolls from start to finish. Even if it works well in your own stage, it may not work when merged, so you have to be careful. We used Unity Collaborate to merge the data so that it can be done with one click.
As usual, the workshop started with learning how to use the mouse to place objects on the stage. As I feel every time, I am amazed at how quickly the children learn to use the mouse. Especially this time, almost all of the participants had already learned Scratch at school, so they were immediately familiar with placing objects in 3D. I was surprised to see how quickly it has spread.
We also had two adult participants this time. They were an educator and a web designer, both of whom were seriously enjoying themselves with the children. Thank you very much!
We also held a “drawing workshop” where we captured characters drawn with crayons using a web camera, transferred the data to the cloud, and ran it on a browser. The created data can also be converted to Unity’s prefab. This workshop has been enjoyed by children and adults alike, and many people have participated so far. You can enjoy the workshop for free from this website. You can also download a special sheet, so please take the opportunity to experience it. The materials and project files for this workshop are also available on GitHub, and we hope you can make use of them.
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