University Students Design Interactive Computer Games for Worcester Museums

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Computing students from the University of Worcester are developing interactive games for the Elgar Birthplace and Royal Infirmary museums to help engage broader audiences and enhance the enjoyment of their collections.

The projects aim to offer alternative, fun opportunities for visitors to explore and learn about the local, cultural heritage of each of the museums.

The Elgar Birthplace and Royal Infirmary museums and Powermedia, a Chilean multimedia company, have formed partnerships with the University of Worcester Business School to offer live projects to Game Design and Development students.

The projects sponsored by Powermedia are focussed on improving and promoting healthy eating habits and enhancing knowledge of healthy food to improve social wellbeing.

Dr Carlo Fabricatore, Senior Lecturer in Computer Games, who directs the live project programme and coordinated the partnerships, said: “We are constantly looking for partners who could benefit from the contributions of students. It is important that our students are able to learn through a real-world experience.

“This programme began in 2010, with the participation of the Elgar Birthplace Museum as our very first stakeholder. Then in 2011 we established two further partnerships, with the Worcester Royal Infirmary Museum and Powermedia. It has so far been very successful and the organisations we are working with can see the social benefit of using gaming in their activities.

“Within our Game Design and Development BSc we structured a programme which allows teams of students to engage in a game design and development project and continue its development and refinement.

“The types of projects they are working on encourage them to effectively promote regional and cultural heritage as well as find entertaining ways to get people to consider how they could improve their eating habits.”

The students showcased their project design for the Elgar Birthplace Museum, the Royal Infirmary Museum to representatives from the museums and to Powermedia via video conference link, from Chile.