Kennesaw State graduate helps VR lab develop next-generation business training games

Kennesaw, Ga. December 13, 2022

Kennesaw State University senior Bunga Mswangani said it was an often misunderstood hobby that led him to his current promising career path as a programmer and virtual designer.

Bunga Mswangani
Bunga Mswangani

The Marietta resident and computer game design and development major will graduate Dec. 15 and go to work in the video game industry after choosing among several offers.

“I’ve always loved video games. I loved playing them, but I was interested in graphic design, terrain, game physics development – all of that,” Mswangani said. “It’s interesting to translate a passion and a lot of hard work to be able to do what I love.”

Mswangani is not just preparing for her career through coursework and theory at KSU. For several semesters, he worked at KSU’s Reality Lab in the College of Computing and Software Engineering, developing virtual reality games that local businesses could train their employees on.

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“For me, programming is cathartic and gratifying. It’s gratifying to imagine something and then work hard for weeks until you build that piece of technology exactly as you envisioned it in your head. Be,” he said. “There’s a lot more to game design and programming than most people know.”

Kevin Markley, a virtual reality software developer and director of Reality Labs, said Mswangini wasn’t just a worker at the lab — he was a big part of its success during the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. When students and staff alike were forced to work from home one weekend, the lab team still had project deadlines with three companies.

Markley said Mswangini was one of the main reasons these projects for companies, including Cobb EMC, remained on track.

“The Truth Lab would be a completely different place without him. He was the only person left in the lab after most of the staff left, so he was invaluable for information about past projects and equipment.” Bonga has also been the biggest contributor to every project since I joined and without him none of the projects would have had nearly as much code or be as stable.”

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Markley said Mswangani, who he called a “knowledge seeker,” continued to work through the summer, even while he traveled to South Africa to visit family, to ensure the project was completed. Problems are solved and lab requirements are filled.

“I’m incredibly happy for Bonga, and I’m a little jealous of those who will be working with him in the industry,” Markley said. Markley said. “The lab would be completely different without him, from the meetings and discussions to the wide range of measurement and use of equipment, and project work, there is nothing he didn’t have a hand in. I think It’s going to give a new one. Give people a chance to shine, and I hope like he did here.”

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Kennesaw State’s fall commencement ceremonies are December 13, 14 and 15.

– by Thomas Hartwell
Photos by Matt Young

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong international ties and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated Doctoral Research Institution (R2), placing it among the elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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