Christian Rickerts of Wikimedia Deutschland

Category: Future heads

© Wikimedia Deutschland

© Wikimedia Deutschland

© Wikimedia Deutschland

Wikimedia Deutschland stands for the creation, collection and distribution of free content. Projekt Zukunft is supporting the Free Knowledge Game Jam of Wikimedia Deutschland, where gamers, hackers and other interested parties develop a game in just 24 hours using only open data. We spoke to the Executive Board Chairman Christian Rickerts about the Game Jam and the relevance of open content.

At the end of October, Wikimedia Deutschland organized the "Free Knowledge Game Jam", a hackathon in which participants develop prototypes for computer games using only open data. Who could I expect to meet at such an event? 

You could meet people who are enthusiastic about free knowledge and computer and video games. Our aim was to merge the creativity and enthusiasm of game development with open data and free knowledge. We wanted to demonstrate the many opportunities that present themselves here. The main participants were developers of indie games and students who are currently learning the craft of game development. For them in particular, a Game Jam offers scope to experiment and test their skills.

The participants had just 24 hours to work out their ideas. Is that a difficult challenge? Which ideas impressed you in the end?

Naturally, a completely finished game cannot be created within 24 hours, but prototypes and first levels certainly can. The timing was very tight – but in view of the great results it was no real obstacle. The creativity of the participants was overwhelming. We were impressed, for example, by an interactive narrative with data from a free film archive, the consideration of Wikipedia in a three-dimensional "garden of knowledge" and a beautiful logic puzzle with fabric swatches from a historical Berlin collection.

In the leitmotifs of Wikimedia Deutschland there is talk of more free knowledge, openness and exchange. How important is Open Data in Germany now? Has a lot changed here in recent years?

Openness and Free Knowledge are becoming increasingly important, also outside non-profit associations such as Wikimedia Deutschland. There are more and more citizens who expect a significantly higher degree of openness from public authorities. And large companies have now recognized the potential of open data. The Free Knowledge Game Jam is therefore a good example of what can be done with a lot of creativity and open data.

Finally, Berlin is ...

... outgoing, lively, hungry for knowledge and creative. It is a place where the world can be changed for the better.