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Nominated by Jill Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Computer Science

From the Author: Most people who think about art never consider a computer.  Indeed, art in its most primitive form is meant to impress but one of the 5 senses.  There are sculptures, paintings and architectural creations to pleasure our eyes;  music to satisfy our ears; culinary arts to tantalize our tongues and noses; and things like massage therapy and acupuncture to tickle our sense of touch. But even in the earliest times, there was theatre, an art form capable of entertaining both sight and sound simultaneously.  The whole effect of a good theatre performance, it may be argued, it greater than the sum of its parts.  By combining sight and sound, audiences were emotionally moved.  They laughed, cried, and experienced catharsis. While there have been other art forms that involve 1 or 2 senses, few have been able to satisfy more.  Computer games and computer simulations have.  In a computer game, like in a movie or theatre performance, the creators are able to control what the player sees and hears to a degree.  But computer games go beyond that; they react to the player.  In a computer game, what you see, hear, and actually physically feel through feedback is both a product of the game designers and the player.  You can only see the final level of the game if you are able to take the actions that get you to the final level.  Or in other words, the player can only experience all of my world if he or she is able to explore it all.  This interactivity isn't exactly a sense, but it gives players something that other art doesn't: a chance to use what they gain from their senses.  They react to what they experience, and in turn the game reacts to them.  A designer builds in rewards for certain actions and punishments for others.  One could even say that a relationship forms between the game's designer and the player, and that's the magic of making a computer game.  While this game is nowhere near as advanced as a modern video game, it's a start.  It's my first attempt at creating a world for you, the player, to experience, and I hope that our journey is fun and successful.

From the Faculty Nominator: Colin Davis and Jim Segedy wrote this program as part of a course on computer game programming.  The assignment was to write a 3D shooter game. Although the topic may sound frivolous, there are a number of substantial computer science concepts illustrated in this project, including three-dimensional computer graphics and artificial intelligence.  Colin and Jim made use of a scripting language to allow easy modifications to the game play and included some very interesting elements, which I won’t give away to the player.  Lastly, their project is simply a lot of fun! 


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