You could not have picked a better venue than the Tonsley Innovation District to host the Inaugural HYBRID WORLD ADL event. Set on the grounds of the former Chrysler and Mitsubishi Manufacturing Plants, Tonsley is now home to hubs for Flinders University and TAFE SA, entrepreneurial and established businesses and now HYBRID WORLD Adelaide.
What is Hybrid World Adelaide you may ask? Hybrid World Adelaide also known simply as (HWA) is a new technology festival and it is the first of its type this state has seen. Held over five days HWA included a conference, a variety of public activities as well as an open expo to showcase new developments, projects and inventions. The tag line for the event was ‘HELLO_FUTURE’ and the premise for this was looking forward at what lies ahead in space and biotech, drones and robots, block chain and cybersecurity, agritech and artificial intelligence as well as gaming including the ever growing concept of eSports. Conveniently held during the Spring School holiday period, Hybrid World Adelaide gave visitors the opportunity to Discover, Learn and Play in a technology wonderland. There was a balanced mix of local innovation and international talent on show across five distinct zones;
Zone 1 (HWA Main Stage) – was a free zone that did not require a ticket to enjoy an array of entertainment options including a COSPLAY Parade, which is an abbreviated term for a Costume Parade, you could come dressed as your favourite gaming character. The Main Stage was also home to presentations from YouTube stars and game developers. One of the coolest features of the Main Stage was crowdDJ, a concept allowing you to control the playlist between sessions with a cool virtual jukebox app.
Zone 2 (HWA LAN) – A LAN-stravaganza Arena. The space showcased 50 networked computers that hosted hundreds of gamers across four days. Friday and Saturday saw ‘League of Legends' competitions and also treated gamers to pro-player appearances and celebrity drop-ins.
Zone 3 (HWA Chill Zone) - for when you needed reprieve from screen time. The Big Game Theory provided hundreds upon hundreds of board games featuring some of our childhood favourites, think Connect 4, Guess Who and Hungry Hippo, as well as modern day board game classics.
Zone 4 (HWA Sideshow Alley and HWA Indie Alley) – Enter the tech lovers paradise where the technology of tomorrow was on display with demos of augmented reality goggles. Innovation Companies from across South Australia, the nation and the world provided all with a sneak peek of their newest products. HWA Indie Alley showcased the very best in game innovation in South Australia.
Zone 5 (HWA Five Decades of Games) – where Retrospekt, who are respected as being Adelaide most passionate purveyors of classic video games, set up for the event. Retrospekt is South Australia’s number one retro gaming website and community. Think ATARI, NINTENDO 64 and Sega Maseter System II, which was made famous by ‘Alex the Kid’. If you grew up with a gaming device from yesteryear, you can guarantee it was there for you to play and reminisce.
It's fair to say this event was a massive success in its first year and no doubt it will continue to expand every year. Hybrid World Adelaide was proudly brought to Adelaide by the Government of South Australia. We now look forward to what next year’s Hybrid World Adelaide event brings as no doubt the advances in technology and gaming will develop even further within the span of a year.