Gamelab introduction

 

This year’s Manchester Science Festival at the MediaCityUK campus, University of Salford consisted of three floors to explore and have fun.

 

Ground floor

As you enter the main doors on the ground floor, you are greeted by a remote controlled helium balloon shark flying around. The atmosphere is electric with the music coming from Science in the House and the digital visual displays are breath-taking. An amazing electrifying audio-visual experience live-mixed 3D visuals blended with House music was experienced by all.

The Bio selfies stand where art and microbiology blend together to create your own bacterial pieces of art. People are using a swab to take a sample of their bacteria and agar plate to draw a picture. A paintbrush was swapped for a swab, and bacteria for paint to create pictures on agar plates that were taken back to the lab to grow into bio-art.

A Hypothalamus Hunt stand where you can learn about the effects of stress on humans and animals using an educational and fun app. If you loved Pokémon Go then Hypothalamus Hunt is a app you will love. The app uses your GPS positioning to build an animal avatar then solve mini-games based upon your location. It can also be played in a non GPS positioning mode.

Device D audio-visual performance where Dance, technology and Twitter blended to create an artistic performance. The audio-visual elements of performance and the performer’s wearable sensors were controlled by Twitter #hashtags and @mentions. Twitter #hashtags and @mention vibrated the sensors to a varying intensity based upon the volume of corresponding tweet as instructions for the performer’s movements.

  • Her left arm was controlled by vibrations from #deviced #MSF17 #GameLab tweets.
  • Her right arm was controlled by vibrations from @manolimoriaty @LucieLeeDance
  • Her left leg was controlled by vibrations from @McrSciFest @SalfordUni @UoSMediaCity
  • Her right leg was controlled by vibrations from #moveme #sensory art&science

 

There are various virtual reality games that people are enjoying experimenting with as they put on the head sets and enter the virtual gaming world.

 

As you walk into the Aquarium you are entering a underwater world. There are Jelly fish and some sharks above your head and deck chairs to sit and soak up your surroundings in the immersive dry aquarium. Behind a wall of seaweed you step into a dark room where people are wearing virtual reality headsets to explore VR aquariums.

 

Mezzanine 

 

As you walk up the stairs to the first floor you are greeted by the librarians of the Library of Fake News. People are exploring the library and discussing what fake news actually is, how to sort fact from fiction and help determine what is real news and fake news.

 

1st floor

 

The first floor is teeming with citizen science stands. People are exploring the various citizen science projects and getting involved. There is much to choose from and something for everyone.

 

2nd floor

 

The third floor had games, computer games, more computer games, and VR games. It was a gamers fun filled floor. There was puzzle games, problem solving games, eSport demos, and retro computer games from the past. Adults and children alike had their game faces on and were having fun playing games.

 

 

Paul Wilshaw