IM Department wins Android development grant

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Interactive media students ALEX MINER ’12 and MATT VROMAN ’12 use Unity to create mobile games.

Bradley’s interactive media department was one of 20 programs nationwide to receive a grant from Unity Technologies last fall to help encourage mobile development.

The award came from the game development software company’s Great Education Giveaway contest. Dr. Monica McGill’s proposal netted the department a copy of Unity Android Pro, as well as a Google Nexus One phone — valued at about $3,500.

Students in her Intermediate Interactive Media Authoring (IM 313) class use the award to create mobile games. “It’s really relevant to the students,” said McGill, assistant professor of interactive media. “They can definitely relate to it because that’s their world.”

According to the technology blog ReadWriteWeb, sales of smartphones using Android grew almost 900 percent in the second quarter of 2010. By March 2011, digital market researcher comScore found Android led the smartphone market share with 31.2 percent. A Pew Research study completed in July 2010 found six in 10 adults go online wirelessly. “We have to get more into mobile platforms,” said McGill.

The focus on game design came after the IM department (formerly known as multimedia) instituted concentrations for the major in 2010. They include animation and visual effects, Web and application design, and game design. “When I saw the game design curriculum, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” said MATT VROMAN ’12.

 “We’re ahead of the curve of what’s going on in other schools,” McGill said. “Everybody’s on the move.”

– By Adam Bockler '11