Emerging Media Students Present New Video Game, App at Capstone Event
Members of the University of Georgia’s first cohort in the Emerging Media graduate program presented their capstone projects at Southern Brewing Company on July 27. There were two projects presented at the event, the first by Eric Daniel and Chalen Duncan, and the second by Amanda Keuler.
The capstone projects are oriented around solving a problem through the perspective of emerging media studies, a task Daniel said was “vague” in order to allow them to explore unconventional methods. He and Duncan decided virtual reality, or VR, would be a good fit for an emerging media solution.
“We felt like virtual reality was as true to emerging media as anything,” Daniel said. “We have no idea what the industry is going to do, and we have no idea how it’s going to grow, so we decided to make a virtual reality game.”
Daniel and Duncan presented on their VR game, GemQuest, which both of them had been set on doing from the time they began the project. The team set out to fix problems which commonly hamper a VR experience, such as nausea, as well as developing a more streamlined controller for movement within the game.
Multi-faceted projects such as creating a VR game often require several different skill sets to be successful. Duncan said putting together a team of other people at UGA to work on the project has been one of the most rewarding parts of their work.
“There have been some unexpected challenges, but what’s also been unexpected is just how much talent UGA has to offer,” Duncan said. “Getting together such a great team, making really beautiful environments and actually being able to enter into a new reality where you can see all of those models is just so much more rewarding than we thought.”
The second presentation by Keuler was for her app, Fave. The app is designed to solve two problems, one for businesses and the other for consumers by helping businesses that are trying to gain popularity, as well as consumers when searching for new products.
Keuler said her app will cut out the process of searching through reviews online by making the reviewing process social, as well as promoting only the best products by allowing consumers to rate their top ten items or businesses rather than giving negative reviews.
“Out of 75 respondents, 53% said that they trust recommendations from their family and friends the best, followed by 27% trusting experts and 19% trusting strangers ,” Keuler said. “This may not come as a surprise, but it did make us wonder why so many sites rely on strangers for their information.”
The app incorporates a variety of facets, including a timeline of recent posts from friends, a search feature, and even an option to review a business or product. All of these features have been tailored to enhance user experience and provide an easy, quick platform for reviews.
“There’s a filter feature, so if you’re wanting to look at specifically movies you can do that,” Keuler said. “Eventually we hope to incorporate a direct messaging and public profiles, so you could follow celebrities and see their lists.”
An emerging media degree is one most participants seem to be excited to be earning. Daniel said he is glad he decided to do this program, and doesn’t regret it “even a little bit.”
“I have absolutely loved this program to death,” Daniel said. “We have a fantastic cohort and the people make it. It’s been cool to work with Grady on this because not everyone knows what’s going to work and what doesn’t.”
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(Source: Amy Scott, Staff Writer, The Red & Black)