May 6, 2014
By Matt Hawkins
Laughter and smiles filled the Peoria Riverfront Museum as children and adults created videogames, navigated a wave wall and inserted themselves into special effects sequences at Bradley’s annual interactive media showcase. The event, Routing, displayed student projects and introduced visitors to the interactive media department through a variety of hands-on displays.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our students because they made something the public interacted with,” interactive media department chair Jim Ferolo said. “It provided them an opportunity to get their work into the public sphere. The product is almost secondary to getting them to understand everything they need to do to get the project out the door.”
Students collaborated with faculty, IM alumni and several sponsors to bring the showcase to life. Visitors were greeted by a lighted wave wall that displayed a matrix game operated by a skatoard-shaped foot controller. Seniors in the web and application design track designed the wall.
Guests also created board games from a table of miscellaneous items, learned the basics of animation, drove Sphero balls around an obstacle course and modeled in front of a green screen with special effects.
“I like watching people with their families learn how the experience works,” said senior animation and visual effects major Patrick Kelly as he supervised the wave wall. “It’s not your typical video game on a screen.”
In addition to those activities, animation and visual effects seniors displayed a series of short films in the museum’s giant screen theater and game design seniors showed Dapper, a game application designed to teach diabetes patients about the disease. All IM students also showed portfolios of their work.
“It’s fun that we got a day to show off our work,” senior game design major Jack Stephens said. “It’s entertaining to see others get joy out of playing something they’ve made.”
Junior animation and visual effects major Drew Marinelli linked his parkour hobby with digital media for his presentation. The multimedia display enabled him to share his hobby and media production interests.
“It’s nice to hear from other people and to see how excited they are about the program,” Marinelli said. “Thethings I’m learning are helping me with side projects as well as a career in interactive media.”
Beyond the energy of watching a year of hard work come to life, the day paid long-term career dividends for students in the nationally recognized program.
“A public show that shares what they created is an extremely persuasive way to show employers what the students can consistently deliver,” Ferolo said.