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


Just Posted

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read