By John Connelly (Game Programming ’21)
At the Champlain Montreal Campus, every class is full of interesting subjects and information to absorb, but of all of them the one I most look forward to every week is Emerging Media. The class is one of the two CORE classes I am taking, and offers a wide variety of new experiences involving emerging media in Montreal. I originally chose it because my major was Game Programming, and I figured I would rather take a CORE class that fit into my major rather than one that didn’t, but once the class began I found that this class could honestly apply to any major.
The class itself focuses on having the students go out and take part in the ever-evolving cultural landscape of Montreal, but specifically it focuses on the emergent media of the city. This could be anything from tech startups to showcases to even film festivals. The whole point is that you are in the city, so you can go beyond just learning about what there is, now is your chance to take part in it. So because of this, one of our first assignments was to go visit any location that is a creative hub for any sort of technology, research, or emerging media in Montreal.
I personally decided to go to a pretty popular place called The Montreal Science Center, which is a science museum that prides itself in hosting many exhibitions, with most being interactive, as well as a fantastic IMAX theater that features tons of 3D documentaries. Other locations classmates went to consisted of planetariums, the Jacques-Cartier bridge which hosts an interactive light exhibit at night, VR centers, and many buildings featuring tech startups where some of our students have internships. At these locations, we took photos and researched the hubs and then talked about them next class. Not only did I learn a ton about the place I went to, but was inspired to go to a lot of the places other students suggested as well.
In only two classes I got to experience a chunk of Montreal as a growing emerging media hub, but I have yet to do more than skim the surface. Montreal has been a booming technological city since as far back as 1967 when they hosted the World Fair (something I learned in class). This class offers opportunities for all of us in Montreal to go out and volunteer for events, and take in as much of this innovation as we can.
In our most recent class we explored the development of virtual reality, with our teacher bringing in his own personal collection, including an ancient ancestor of modern VR, which allows you to see pictures in 3D. We got to test out a multitude of VR devices and see how we are progressing VR at insane rates.
This class is a blast and I am always excited to come into class to experience new technologies and new methods to use them. I know that in the future we will get to test out a 360 degree camera and might even have to privilege to use it for a future project. This class has given me an excuse to go and explore Montreal, not that I really needed one, but it’s nevertheless assisted me in experiencing locations I may have never had to chance to explore otherwise.