Gulu: Robotics and Gaming

Fundi Bots, a Ugandan non-profit initiative promoting Robotics to solve local technical problems held a Robotics Camp at Gulu High School, in Gulu, Uganda. The camp was fully funded by Oysters and Pearls, and International NGO run by Sandra Washburn.

Gamers Nights was invited to the Gulu Robotics Camp to enhance the tech learning experience and give the kids a bucket load of fun. Agent Smith, DiamondTrust and NtindaSnyper set off to Gulu on 22nd Jan to answer the 'call of duty'.

On arrival, we started off installing our most popular game, Call of Duty on the approximately 15 laptops at the Camp including an extra 2 Gaming laptops lovingly donated by Oysters and Pearls for the event. Once the setup was done, the kids went about their first PC Multiplayer experience, filled with awkward hand positions on the keyboard and having two kids using one computer simultaneously, one on the keyboard, the other on the mouse, but having blast realizing they are playing against each other. You can check out the pictures on our GamersNights facebook page .

Day Two after their Robotics lessons, we now took a step back to give a little lecture about computer networks and their importance in gaming before starting up the game. We took the kids on a step by step course through the game explaining it's various mechanics and ensuring they can set up the game server themselves, which much to our joy, they accomplished very easily. To teach them more about strategy and team play, we split them into two groups (US Marines & Russian OpFOR) and this greatly fired up their competitive spirit. Before long the room was filled with cheers and groans from the winning and losing teams every 30 or so minutes. Alot of the kids were now playing without looking at the keyboard and controlling their players alone, while their partners looked on and offered strategic advice. We had so much fun, it went on till about 9.30PM.

Day Three: After the closing ceremony for the training camp, we had one final Best-of-three competition between the teams that was won by the Russian team. All seven of their team mates got a prize from Gamers Nights. After which they just kept at it, their skills showing a tremendous improvement since they begun, with them able to do more complex in-game operations like Voting and Class customization without any help from us. We eventually had to stop and 11PM with all the kids abuzz about what they did and how they could have done it better than their colleagues. To wrap it up, we had some talks with the school's administration to foster gaming and told them about the benefits of the activity for the kids that they received with much approval.

Now onto the 6 hour journey by bus back to Kampala ...