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Fly like a bird or grow a virtual plant with York Interactive Media students

Posted on 17 August 2016

Students studying Interactive Media at the University of York have showcased new digital games, based on Leap Motion technology, at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television’s Luma Festival.

The exhibits demonstrate the wide variety of industry-relevant skills that students learn on the Interactive Media degree, including interaction design, computer programming and 3D animation.

Dr Jonathan Hook, Lecturer in Interactive Media, said: “Our student projects this year, which include flying a goose around campus and growing plants in different weather conditions, show that interacting with technologies of the future could be as simple as moving your hand over a sensor pad or tablet.”

An exhibit, called YorCampus, designed by second year student Jamie Macdonald, utilises Leap Motion sensor technology to allow users to fly a goose, called Gerald, across the University campus, picking up helpful information about the University as the bird progresses.

It is intended for use by new and prospective students, and users are joined on their journey by Gerald the goose, who is also considering making York his new home!

In a digital art installation project called Four Seasons, student, Matthew Kemp, uses a gestural interface to allow users to move between the various stages of a plants life. The user must protect the plant from pests, wind, snow, and heat. The growing flower changes, depending on how well it is cared for across the changing seasons.

Dr Hook added: “The Interactive Media degree was launched at the University in 2014 and reflects the growing interest and need to bring together creative, technological, and sociological expertise to produce innovations that can enhance our understanding of the world around us and contribute to cultural and economic growth.”

For more information about the University of York's Interactive Media course, please visit:

A full selection of student films featured in the Luma Festival can be viewed here: