Wed 05 January 2022

As we still struggle with the Coronavirus pandemic, the regular Chaos Communication Congress at the end of 2021 could not take place on-site again, hence the need for yet another remote Chaos Experience (rC3), themed “NOW/HERE”. I will provide a brief summary of what the event was about and recommend a couple of talks that I’ve watched. In further articles, I plan to share my impressions and highlights of the 2D world.

What is the remote Chaos Experience?

rC3 logo
Held almost entirely online, the remote Chaos Experience, or just rC3, is a four-day virtual and distributed non-commercial congress with talks, discussions, workshops, tinkering, and socialising. The event is organized by the Chaos Computer Club and made possible through tremendous work and contributions of hundreds of volunteers.

Talks (free)

Over 240 permanently public and free-of-charge talks were either pre-recorded or held live in various distributed locations, in dedicated studios provided by local hackspaces/CCC Erfas, or entirely remote wherever a speaker was. A talk usually ended with a live Q&A, even for pre-recorded content. Various topics were covered, e.g. IT security, privacy, politics/society, the Coronavirus pandemic, sustainabilty, and even astronomy.

The talks at Chaos events commonly address a diverse audience, some talks are quite high-level and easy to follow for people who are not very experienced with computers or technology in general, others might lead you into a rabbit hole, of IT or science machine room and require more effort or experience/knowledge in that field to follow.

Many talks (live or pre-recorded) have been simultaneously interpreted (at least to German and English) and often provide subtitles. Just have a look at the options in the control panel of the video player and select the source and captions.

A dedicated app to watch Chaos talks on mobile devices or the TV is Chaosflix:

Image of the video player controls with caption selector (CC icon) and source selector (cog wheel icon)

Some recommended talks that I've watched (in parentheses the OV language):

rC3 World (supporter ticket)

The rC3 World, a self-hosted 2D adventure based on WorkAdventure with islands and villages, gave assemblies and visitors the opportunity to stroll around, explore lovely curated maps, run into people and socialise through ad-hoc video chats as well as provide or attend self-organized sessions. The maps were provided by assemblies and offered e.g. fireplaces, ball pits, and workshop rooms with video conferencing and whiteboards, interactive stories, libraries, museums, even various games, treasure hunts, and rallies.

Through all these possibilities the participants were able to learn new things, nurture critical thinking, have exciting and fun discussions, a good time with like-minded creatures - and they could collect hundreds of badges!

The maps were updated, improved, and fixed during the rC3 and the fellow visitor’s experience could change dynamically. At night, the maps turned to night mode as well and on New Year’s Eve: Fireworks! Way better for the environment than the real one anyway. ;)

If you would like to know more about the current state of WorkAdventure, I recommend the talk Hacking WorkAdventure for fun and profit with the developer of WA.

If you are interested in the overall infrastructure, facts and figures of the rC3, I recommend to watch the Infrastructure Review or read this article on Heise (DE).

What else?

  • The “organized Chaos” community provided various ways to communicate and participate, ask questions, either through IRC, Mastodon, Twitter, Rocket.Chat. Signal angels kept eyes on the channels, collected feedback and questions.
  • Participants could call each other through SIP and sometimes even GSM, made possible by the awesome Eventphone POC (Phone Operation Center).
  • More resources!
Jan Beilicke

About the author

Jan Beilicke is a long-time IT professional and full-time nerd. Open source enthusiast, advocating security and privacy. Sees the cloud as other people's computers. Find him on Mastodon or Twitter.