Ross Fifield 0

Expanded games library on campus

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Southampton Solent University offers its students excellent facilities to pursue their chosen course of study. There are some deficiencies within the corporate IT network which are holding games development students back from fully immersing themselves using campus IT Systems. There is only one platform by which games can be installed on the network - Steam; and whilst many titles are available, a good deal more cannot run parallel applications (such as anti-cheat programs) and without which, such games will not run after installation.

The student body would like to ask IT to offer games faculty and relevant societies the opportunity from time to time, to allow more titles to be made available for students to access whilst studying on campus, perhaps on a quarterly basis. We'd also like to ask IT what technical framework it might be able to offer to students so that barriers to accessing games can be more readily mitigated. Not every student can afford to maintain a software library of every console and PC platform and where there is no additional software cost to the University, many students on games development courses can legitimately benefit from improved access.

There may be many ways to tackle this problem, but perhaps some of the following suggestions might work:

Can IT offer a standalone network (with internet access) which can be accessed from corporate systems (perhaps via VPN or remote connection).

Can the University offer virtualised environments?

Can IT offer less restricted access to running games for games development students, perhaps by administrative group management?

Would a dedicated games lab, administered by faculty and requiring less management from IT be a more preferable solution?

Many other courses in different faculties are fully supported. The fashion faculty for example has access to textiles, a workshop to create garments and even rooms to exhibit in, if required. Games students however have to rely on corporate systems and cannot access a sizeable range of AAA games using existing systems. The student body would like to work with IT in tackling this problem constructively and positively.

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