What is Interactive Media?
When you tell people about studying Interactive Media, the reply is usually, “oh, what’s that?”. It’s probably one of the only courses like it in the UK, so no one really knows what it’s about.
Interactive Media is a multidisciplinary degree that covers all sorts. This can be from interactive games, 3D-world experiences, virtual reality (VR), websites, and essays about technology’s effect on society.
As a course, it provides a very broad range of skills to be developed over the three years, but also opportunities such as jobs within the School, industry placement years and, of course, the showcase.
What is the Interactive Media showcase?
The Interactive Media showcase is an annual student-run event. The showcase aims to shed light on the work that students of the Interactive Media BSc degree create during their studies. There is also an emphasis on inviting industry professionals to the event for students to network with.
For the June 2022 event, the committee came together in November 2021 to conceptualise, plan, organise and implement the public showcase. We managed to have over 170 tickets booked for the opening gala, with 40 interactive media experiences on display.
I have been a part of the showcase as marketing committee lead for two years during my studies. This has given me so much opportunity to build on teamwork and leadership skills. Particularly, when doing interviews for a placement year, the showcase was something I pulled upon for examples of collaboration, long-term projects and leadership!
Applying for the showcase was just a short Google form about why you would like to be a part of the event. From there, directors chose the team leaders, deputy leaders and the team. In my first year at university, I was placed into the marketing team as deputy lead, and ended up taking over the lead role as it got closer to the event. So, when it came to the 2022 showcase, I wanted to try to be the marketing lead from the start.
Things were slow before Christmas as the design team finalised the aesthetics of the event. However, in January it all kicked off with weekly marketing meetings, as well as weekly team lead meetings to make sure everything was being communicated effectively between the teams and directors.
Alongside my marketing team, we had a handful of other teams with different talents, all working to put the event together.
- Tech – who built our website
- Design – who handle the aesthetics of the showcase
- Events – who handle the event organising aspects
One of the first things I did in marketing meetings was to have a brainstorm of all the types of marketing we could implement to promote the showcase. Something that came off of that was a giant cardboard cutout of our goose mascot.
Some of my team also had the idea to create a weekly comic that would be posted on social media, with the last episode presented at the showcase event.
We mostly used Instagram to advertise and update our followers on the event progress. This involved creating lots of posts that stuck to our aesthetics and scheme.
The event spans three days, with an opening gala on a Friday evening. On the Saturday and Sunday, the space is open all day for people to come in and explore the projects. We also had a workshop set up too.
The Friday gala involved a lot of setting up as we had over 40 projects to display. The space also had to include a section for the VR projects. It was amazing to see so many people at the event, especially since my first year of being a part of the showcase was online, and livestreamed on YouTube and Twitch.
Before the event, we have a panel of judges to shortlist a number of awards, and then during the event the final judges pick from the shortlisted ones.
The awards were:
- Best technical implementation – for the project with the most ambitious execution.
- Best critical perspective – demonstrates a compelling and comprehensive understanding of its project matter.
- Audience favourite – given to the project that gets the most audience votes during the event.
- Innovative concept award – recognises the award with the most innovative and unique concept.
- Design award – recognises accomplishments in design.
- Best project award – recognises excellence in interactive media.
- Spotlight award – reserved for 1st-Year students, and shines a light on projects that show talent and dedication.
My favourite award is always the audience favourite, as it encourages the audience to really see and interact with all of the projects before voting on their favourite.
Being a part of this committee has been a great experience, and I can’t wait to see what the team does this year!
Read more student stories about studying Interactive Media at York.
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