Round Midnight Ltd, the Birmingham based theatre group, has won a trio of awards, and been shortlisted for a further award for its virtual reality (VR) offering.
The company, which has been delivering high quality education and creative arts for over 30 years, picked up three Digital City Awards, including VR/AR Project of the Year, Best Use of Technology and The Tech for Good Award for its Virtual_Decisions programme, a one of a kind programme which uses VR in education and focuses on delivering an early intervention programme for young people that explores gang culture.
In addition, Round Midnight has also been nominated for the Services Innovator of the Year Award at the Innovation Awards which will be announced at the Awards Celebration on the 1st July, held at Millennium Point, Birmingham.
Virtual_Decisions was created in 2018 in partnership with BAFTA award-winning production company, BDH Immersive and the plan is to create further VR programmes to support thousands of young people who are at risk of criminal exploitation and will cover topics that students are worried about, including knife crime and anti-social behaviour.
Stuart Lane, director of Round Midnight Ltd, commented: “We are extremely pleased to have been recognised at the Digital City Awards and be shortlisted at the Innovation Awards for our VR on gang culture. This was set up as a prototype to see if VR would help educate pupils and the feedback we have received from the schools has been extremely positive and now to have these awards as well, is the icing on the cake.
“Our Virtual_Decisions programme is being expanded, following research with pupils to cover topics which impact them, so they understand the consequences of any decisions they make and we are working with a number of clients to deliver these messages.”
The Virtual_Decisions sessions work in line with Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) topics and include each participant wearing a virtual reality headset, and they are then placed in a realistic scenario, where they are faced with multiple dilemmas in which they must make a choice. Each choice results in various outcomes, showing that every action has a consequence. The expert team which creates the VR uses real world actors to give authenticity to the piece. After the immersive VR experience, it is followed up by a creative arts workshop which explores the issues raised in more detail. Throughout the last year, socially distanced sessions have been held in schools adhering to Covid-19 guidelines.
To date, over 1,000 pupils have benefitted from the VR programme and Round Midnight Ltd is also working with the West Midlands Police, West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit and Probation Service, and the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit to create more VR experiences to help educate pupils.
For further information about the Virtual_Decisions programme or to get a school involved, visit the Round Midnight Ltd website at https://www.roundmidnight.org.uk/