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Sheffield Hallam University hosted the 9th annual Games Britannia games education festival this week, one of the UK's longest running events of its kind.

Over the two-day festival, more than 150 pupils from schools and colleges in the region visited the University for activities including workshops and interactive creative, technology sessions.

For the first time, this year's festival featured a dedicated virtual reality (VR) space, with dozens of development projects from researchers, academics and students available to explore.

With the support of the University's student ambassadors and schools and colleges engagement team, visiting pupils explored the potential future applications and impact of games and technology, learning about the various ways research at Sheffield Hallam is using immersive technologies to enable healthier lives.

Further highlights include an introduction to games programming on the PlayStation 4 with senior lecturer in software engineering Dr Jacob Habgood, a rare opportunity to explore the facilities in the world's largest PlayStation teaching facilities.

Students were also able to develop and build their own alternative controllers with Pimoroni, using motion sensor technology, or good old card and crayons, with some clever wiring. 

Games Britannia, which has been running annually since 2011, is led by research associate game developer Ivan Phelan.

He said: "Games Britannia provides hands-on workshops for local schools and this year has been one of the best yet, with virtual reality, mixed reality, programming and motion capture workshops.

Sheffield school pupils try virtual reality
Sheffield school pupils try motion capture technology
Sheffield school pupils try virtual reality

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"Visiting pupils were able to explore the next generation of immersive gaming and interactive technologies, whilst also discovering some of the future applications of VR. We had students experiencing motion capture, programming PlayStation 4 games and playing through some of our students and academics projects."

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For press information: Laura Burden in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5301 or email