By Brodie Setaro
Since 2016, we have worked with Staffordshire University to bring uni life to the doorsteps of students across the Midlands, from the second students step on board, our double decker bus takes them on a journey into their future. Over the years, each internal configuration has been something new and exciting, from an immersive cinema, to a pick and mix station, the ‘Great Minds Bus’ really optimises our ever growing fleet.
After visiting the Staffordshire University, Leek Road campus back in September, we were immersed into the Esports hub, a specialist gaming and media hub to train the next generation of esports managers, shoutcasters and broadcasters. This is the first esports degree launched in the UK, so what better way to showcase the hub than to replicate it inside one of our double decker buses.
The kit on board the upper deck of the bus includes a gaming workstation, whereby students can test their gaming skills against one another, all of which is magnified on to a viewing screen for those watching. Project Manager, Brodie said “It’s been an exciting project to be a part of with each element being something completely different to anything we’ve done before. Once we had seen the hub at the Campus, it felt relative easy to replicate on the bus. It was important for us to continue the theme of the hub so as well as having a gaming station, we added a grey slate flooring and filled the room with red & blue lighting, all of which was a key part in making the Esports Hub an immersive gaming experience”
Although the Esports hub is the main component to this years bus, there is still a continuation of the virtual reality experience on the lower deck, an interactive glimpse into life on campus. Students then get to watch ‘Staffs: The Movie’, a short film about the university and following that, meet ‘Beacon’, the award winning digital coach who helps students with their questions whilst on campus. “When Staffordshire University told us about their award winning character Beacon, we knew we had to replicate it somehow on the bus. By having it as a 3D character, we felt it added a great talking point for staff and students on board the bus” said Brodie.
As the bus sets out on its 4th consecutive year, there is the added bonus of visiting Staffordshire University digital institute in London, a place the bus is yet to visit on its 3 previous tours. We are very much looking forward to hearing about students’ experience on the bus and to an even more successful tour than the last!
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