On the 23/03/17 I had the privilege, as well as 9 others, to travel to Helsinki in Finland. Being chosen to be part of the Supercell youth board was just out of this world, knowing that eventually something amazing will come out of this and just being able to help other people is gold in my eyes.
After hours of what I thought was endless travelling, we eventually arrived at our hotel. This is where we all properly started to socialise with the other members and believe me, they are the most down to earth and funniest bunch of people I have met. On top of that they have a passion for gaming and tackling serious issues.
That night we all went out for a meal in a restaurant called 'Stones'. The views surrounding us were absolutely incredible. That night we also met up with Jess (Anti-fraud and user safety leader from Supercell) who was just so lovely and friendly the whole time. Jess was another person who was so passionate about addressing these issues and making a change. This was a great chance for us all to get to know each other, although the table I was sitting at had the strangest conversations, we all got on so well. Once we had finished our meals, Jess took us to Helsinki cathedral which was just magnificent!
Supercell Headquarters, nothing could explain the excitement we all felt this morning. Unsure of what to expect but knowing it would be superb! On arrival at Supercell we were greeted by the wonderful Jess who joined us the night before. We were taken to a meeting room where most of our day was spent. In front of each seat was a Supercell bag with our names on, indicating where to sit, as well as the amazing goodies inside. We were so grateful and lucky to receive them.
The excitement only grew once we realised we were being joined by six gaming youtubers: ClashwithAsh, Nickatnyte, Chief Pat, Galadongaming, Clashwithcam and gamingwithMOLT. It was extraordinary!
After a few moments of awkwardness we all burst into conversation, telling each other our names and our favourite Supercell game.
Ice breaker activities. No words could explain how hilarious these games were. I had never seen anything like it, though I cannot complain, It was amazing!
During the day we went through many essential topics and our ideas just bounced off each other’s perfectly. It started off with a Q&A with the developers of the games, it was truly exciting! It gave us a great in depth look on the games we have been passionate playing.
Throughout the day we were taking in turns being excused from the activities to do some filming. We were asked things such as who we were, how we got into gaming, what being on the youth board means to us and to give a safety tip. Once we had all finished off filming and had lunch we started to discuss the 'different types of communication' such as the global chat and 3rd party apps. We also spoke about the positives but of course the negatives. We realised the amount of negativity that unfortunately happens throughout the global chats. The BM'ing, discrimination, bullying and griefing. It was sad to think about but we were there to make a difference and to reduce it so it would all pay off in the end.
Once we had discussed all of this we started to think of potential solutions, not starting on it completely due to having to leave. It was a task for the next day, the final day.
Once we had left supercell we all made our way to go bowling, only being shocked when it wasn't just bowling! There was archery, Xbox Kinect, racing and flying simulators. We had so much to do and it was just incredible. We really enjoyed ourselves.
All packed up and ready to go, although no one actually wanted to leave. We had just made fantastic friendships and have been enjoying creating the work we produced. It was the end of the trip, not the end of the process though.
We made our way back to Supercell headquarters, leaving our luggage in a room so we did not have to carry it around all day. Soon enough we were spilt into groups with Youth Board members and a YouTuber. We were given another icebreaker activity, Just to get to know each other more. I loved hearing stories from other people, it was nice of them to share their moments. Moments after this activity we started to talk about the solutions we had the day before, however starting to talk in more depth. It was really interesting to hear the others ideas and making it into something quite exciting! We know for sure that our ideas have been sent to Tommi (the lead developer of Clash of Clans) who replied with "great stuff" - so hopefully they can take a look at our ideas and try to work something out. Soon enough our day came to an end and we had the hours of travelling back to the UK ahead of us.
This trip was a real life enhancer for me. I learnt so much about myself first off all but also I got an insight to the games and what other people's opinions and experiences were. Before becoming part of the youth board and going on the trip I was going through a really difficult time. I struggled making friends and was just really self-conscious. I was very lost to say the least.
Since becoming part of the youth board I have made lifelong friendships and my attitude towards life has completely changed. I realised that who I am is accepted and I do not have to change myself to please another.
I am ready and willing now to make a change in other people's lives. Creating a happier place for them to be when gaming, for it to be a positive experience and a form of escapism. This is only the beginning.
The trip was an outstanding experience and I am so grateful and happy that I was a part of it.
Hannah Adams, Supercell youth board member 2017-2018