Research Arcade at Study Happy (Guest Post by Josh Brown)

There’s no doubting that the end of June to the start of May is a hectic time of years for students. Exams, essays and deadlines all converge, meaning students are at their busiest, often holed up in the library for days on end, understandably stressed. To act as a tonic to the panic, our Student Life team collaborated with the University Library to form Study Happy.

Study Happy is a week-long residency in the Library Freezone (the area to the left hand side of the entrance, which is sometimes used as a bookshop), in which we ran a range of relaxation activities, from VR mindfulness, meditation and even a masseuse. On the last day of the event, we wanted students to really kick back with some retro gaming. This is where the fantastic Research Arcade really came into the picture. A great example of inter-discipline collaboration, the cabinet had a Pacman-esque game, with classic arcade controls. As with the classic arcade title, you had to steer your character through a labyrinth of gems, while being chased by a posse of pixelated characters. One particular character, Stinky, was very hard to avoid, often cornering me and costing me a valuable life. Curse you Stinky!

Throughout the day, we had over 30 students on the machine, which functioned as a useful way to encourage them to interact with our other activities, such as a relaxing VR experience in deck chairs, or chilling out with a PlayStation 1 racing game.

We had a lot of students telling us that Study Happy has been a great diversion from the stress of studying; rather than social media or other distractions, The Research Arcade provided students with a nostalgic break, leaving them revitalized to resume study.

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