With the goal of creating a physical location to unify the university’s online education efforts, Ferris State University created the brand new Center for Virtual Learning & eSports Arena. Spanning 64,000GSF, the center houses academic programs incorporating a significant virtual learning component that need a modern facility. Programs include Digital Media, Information Systems and Intelligence, Career, Technical and Teacher Education, Criminal Justice, and eSports Production.
Students have access to a VR & AR laboratory to aid in motion capture and virtual reality production education. An audio recording and sound booth house audio monitors and displays for production education. Additionally, there is a podcast studio available for students to create and share content with what they have learned. The Cyber Challenge Room is designed to facilitate Cyber Competitions and hackathons and has the ability to open and combine with the existing eSports Arena.
The eSports Arena is the first purpose-built arena for eSports in Michigan and is designed for live eSports matches that are able to be streamed online. With a dedicated control room, students within the eSports Production major are able to gain real world experience with live-streaming production for the sport. In addition to game-play, each station has a dedicated camera so viewers can see each player’s face as the game procresses.
The Center serves as a hub for collaboration, innovation and interaction between students, whether they are online or in-person. These invaluable tools meet the university’s goals of combining online and in-person education efforts for the students and faculty.