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Bree

23 April 2024

Bachelor of Product Design in Applied Immersive Game Design

 

 

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What are you studying?

I am working towards a Bachelor of Product Design in Applied Immersive Game Design. Essentially, I’m learning how to build video games; specifically, things like virtual and augmented reality.

That sounds like a lot of fun! There must be cool technology you get to use.

There’s all kinds of stuff. One of our courses we all got given a virtual reality headset to help do development. There are computer labs and consoles available, and there’s even a user experience lab. That's where we had the motion capture set up, with about ten cameras and full motion capture suits. It's all available at UC and free for the students to use - and they encourage that as well.

And you’ve already gotten some real-world experience!

Yes, over the summer I interned at a game studio here in Christchurch. I found it through the UC Head of Applied Immersive Game Design. I built video games all day, working a lot with motion capture to make a 3D playable environment without any controllers.

You had a bit of an unconventional path; how did you end up at UC?

I dropped out of high school and just worked for a few years. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, and then I saw UC’s CUP programme. It was perfect for people like me who wanted to come back to uni because it gave me the skills that I needed to succeed at what I'm doing now.

Sounds like CUP really prepared you to attend uni.

Definitely. It gives you the confidence that you can do what you need to do at uni. It made the first year a lot easier and a lot less stressful, and it meant I could prioritise work-life balance because I was prepared.

I have never been happier. I'm so passionate about what I'm doing. It's wonderful. I wouldn't change this decision for anything.

How do you find the UC culture?

It's a very friendly place with people who want everyone to be happy and to be themselves. Everyone's very accepting and so diverse as well, and we're all from different backgrounds with different perspectives, so that makes it a really nice environment.

Gaming is stereotypically a solo activity. How have you managed to connect with people?

The GameDev Society is awesome. I was on the exec last year and this year I’m Vice President. We try to facilitate game development at UC by running industry events, meetups, game testing, game jams, etc. Just ways for people to practice what they’ve learned, do some fun things, and meet people as well.

You’re on your trans journey; have you found LGBTQ+ support at UC?

It’s quite progressive. UC opened up a voice clinic through the speech and therapy school where transgender girls like me can learn and practice our voices. There are also clubs for LGBTQ+ people, and a lot of teachers and staff are trained and aware of LGBTQ+ rights. It's awesome that UC has a lot of places available for that.

Any advice for others who may be considering starting uni a bit later in life?

Go for it. UC is incredibly supportive and there are a lot of pathways to get into uni now. There's so much you can learn, and the lecturers want you to succeed as well. There’s something for everyone, and it’s a lot of fun.

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