Smart phone game app orients new students to campus

A new smart phone app helps university students find their ways around campus and track down deals on products and services.

James Bowen

James Bowen

A game played using smart phones will get new students oriented to their campus and community.

Vancouver Island University Students’ Union in Nanaimo is launching a new mobile social media app for iPhones and Android system-based phones designed to help students find their way around campus and Nanaimo.

The app is already being used on campuses across Canada, including VIU’s  Nanaimo campus, but its official launch in Nanaimo will happen next week when students will play a game of augmented reality capture the flag that will run Wednesday to Friday (Sept. 19-21).

“What it’s intended to do is create a campus community based around this,” said James Bowen, VIU Students’ Union resource coordinator for campus life. ‘It has a social media function where people who are using the app on campus can chat with each other, it allows clubs and other organizations on campus to post all their events in an easy to access format. It’s got student deals on it as well.”

The features are linked together with Google Maps, so students can see where other people are at on campus and chat or meet up with them. They can also see where on campus they are and what student deals on products and services they are near to.

“It’s been pretty popular,” Bowen said. “We start promoting it last week and people are using it. It’s awesome.”

The augmented reality capture the flag game uses the GPS feature in smart phones, so participants can see where the “flag” is, move into that area and try to capture it. A player steals the “flag” from another player by getting in close enough proximity to the player for the flag to automatically transfer to their possession. Player who keeps the flag the longest over the three days of play wins.

“You will see where the treasure is and where the other players are on the campus,” Bowen said. “We’ve outlined a boundary of the campus. We’ll play it for three day and people will be able to run, grabbing the prize, stealing it from each other.”

First prize is a $300 tuition discount for the student who manages to hang onto the flag the longest. Second prize, a $150 credit at the campus book store, goes to the player who has the flag at the end of the game.

An online video about the app can be viewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdy0Rwq8ch0.

 

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