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wrestleSeniors develop Scrappy video game

arm wrestling 1Jennie Gritton was the first member of her team to present an overview of a student designed recruiting tool for the computer science department. “How cool is it to make a video game for your senior project?” Gritton asked.

Team captain Christopher Fugate, Gritton, Craig Robinson, and Paul Trachian were granted permission from the University Relations Office to use the head of UTC mascot Scrappy as the star of their video game. A metal arm allows the user to wrestle Scrappy, who appears in 3-D on the computer screen. The user’s answers to questions about engineering and computer science make the wrestling match easy or more difficult.

arm wrestling 2Students purposely gave the video game a 1980s feel, with the score flashing on the screen at the conclusion of each game, a breakdown for male and female players, and feedback for the user.

Fugate talked about the video’s likeness of the breezeway between the Engineering, Math, and Computer Science Building. “We took a lot of pictures of the breezeway, used modeling software, and tweaked it until it looked recognizable,” Fugate said.

“The interesting part is the combination of 3-D display and manufactured arm. I'm expecting a lot of attention when we take the display and arm to recruiting events,” said Dr. Andy Novobilski, head of the Department of Computer Science.

arm wrestling 3High school and transfer students are drawn to campus annually for events like Freshman Friday, Classes Without Quizzes, Fall Visit Day, Spring Visit Day, and a college fair hosted by UTC at McKenzie Arena. Students with an interest in engineering and computer science who sign on for a college tour could play the Scrappy video game when they visit. “When you consider a study done by the Carnegie Institute shows that 60% of a high school student's decision on where to attend college is based on a campus visit, this hands-on recruitment tool created by students could be very helpful,” said Chuck Cantrell, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of University Relations.

December 16, 2005

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