The world is inexhaustible if you want it to be. Even during a global pandemic, when we've been forced to quarantine for months on end, the virtues of the Internet allow us to meet new people, learn new skills, explore new worlds, and find new opportunities.
There's always something new waiting to be discovered. But it's all too easy to forget this. We become trapped in our routines, isolate ourselves from others, and consume too much bad news and vitriol. We collapse into a jaded quarantine mindset that, sometimes, we need to be shaken out of.
The X-Summit is that big shake. It's X-Team's annual reminder that we're not done yet, that there's still so much left to explore, that we're still capable of so much more. This year, the X-Summit was a four-day all-remote rollercoaster ride of games, virtual bars, big announcements, prizes, and more.
One of the goals was to remind X-Teamers that, even though 2020 has been this weight on our chests holding us down and keeping us inside, it doesn't mean we can't strive to find creative ways to still get energized by the world around us, to still come together and be a part of something special.
- Ryan Chartrand
It all began with an epic opening ceremony:
That's right. An interactive real-life battle royale game, a cyberpunk dance, messages from Elijah Wood and Billy Dee Williams (!), and the huge announcement that X-Team is finally carbon-neutral. If that doesn't entice you to watch it, then we don't what will. And, if you want to know how we created the opening ceremony, read our Behind the Scenes blog post.
Over the past few weeks, X-Teamers have been sent a mysterious Box. X-Team had given them the explicit instruction not to open it until the X-Summit. An excruciating request, but one that led to a lot of hype and anticipation. As the opening ceremony was in its final minutes, X-Teamers could finally open the Box.
Inside, they found a Ditoo from Divoom, a retro pixel art portable speaker with a programmable background. It comes with a phone app that lets you draw pixel art, play mini-games, and record your favorite music tracks. Some X-Teamers immediately started playing Tetris and Snake with it.
It was a throwback to the 2019 X-Summit, where we encouraged X-Teamers to explore the unknown. Too often, we're reluctant to try new things because we're afraid it won't be worth our time. But it often is. You never know what gold you might find going down a rabbit hole.
The day after, X-Teamers played the Claw. Through their browsers, they controlled a real-life claw that was stationed in Finland and was filled with mini-versions of the Box. If you successfully grabbed a mini-Box and dropped it in hole bottom left, you'd win a prize.
Some of the rewards were $300 to spend on any tech item, a plush Bulbasaur, a star to get any collectible in the X-Team Vault with, an Oculus Quest, an X-Team backpack, a $300 gift card, and more!
Virtual Escape Rooms
The next big event was a Virtual Escape Room. For those who don't know, an escape room is a game where you work together to solve puzzles and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms to accomplish a goal under a specific period of time. They're usually done in person, but X-Team partnered with The Escape Game to do everything virtually.
X-Teamers could choose between two scenarios: the Heist and Ruins. Both involved someone from The Escape Game in the actual escape room with a camera strapped to his helmet, who X-Teamers could give instructions to on what to do next.
For so long, we've wanted to do things where we can remote control things you don't ever get to control. I'm a huge fan of the Hitman in Real Life video, and so it was an absolute blast getting to do The Claw, the Virtual Escape Rooms, and all these unique experiences together despite being thousands of miles apart.
- Ryan Chartrand
The VS Challenge
No X-Summit would be complete without a #vs event. On Thursday of the X-Summit week, House Lions and House Nightclaw engaged in a 24-hour step event. The House with the most steps would win T-shirts with the pixelated logo of their House, a coveted item if ever there was one.
X-Teamers collectively walked hundreds of miles. One X-Teamer went the extra mile in quite a literal sense, walking an astonishing 63,008 steps, about 40 miles, for House Nightclaw. Even still, it was a close call. House Nightclaw won with 516,086 steps versus the Lions' 503,523.
To finish the X-Summit, we organized several X-Bars. There was a Pub Down Under for the Australian X-Teamers, a Barcade for our gamers, a few NSFW bars where we could talk about whatever we wanted, and a Drawful pub for overall hilarity. Drinks were on X-Team and could be purchased with the Unleash+ budget.
A New Way of Moving Forward
Those were the biggest events, but the week was brimming with Vault drops, new bounties, X-Teamers doing things they'd never done before, prizes, and more. The X-Summit 2020 proved that remote events don't have to be boring. They don't have to be dull presentations or activities that you feel obliged to participate in.
We're here to say that big events can be done remotely. It is possible to create a vibrant, buzzing community even if you've never met one of your colleagues in real life. The X-Summit 2020 was just another way we pushed ourselves forward. With its momentum, we launch into the remainder of 2020 and 2021.
It's all about creating a greater sense of togetherness through these sorts of digital/real-world experiences that not only blow minds, but create unforgettable moments.
- Ryan Chartrand
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