Exertion Games Lab

21 submissions accepted at CHI2014

We are very excited to have 21 submissions accepted at CHI 2014, the premier conference in human-computer interaction, to be held at Toronto, Canada.

We have 4 full papers, 4 interactivities, 2 workshop organizations, 1 student game competition, 1 special interest group organization, 1 panel, 1 videoshowcase and 7 workshop submissions. Congratulations to everyone who did such a great job in getting the word out about the great work done in the Exertion Games Lab!

Garner, J., Wood, G., Pijnappel, S., Murer, M., Mueller, F. 2014. i-dentity: Innominate Movement Representation as Engaging Game Element. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview video. Video.

Khot, R., Hjort, L., Mueller, F. 2014. Understanding Physical Activity through 3D Printed Material Artifacts. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview videoVideo.

Mueller, F., Gibbs, M.R., Vetere, F., Edge, D. 2014. Supporting the Creative Game Design Process with Exertion Cards. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview video.

Mueller, F., Isbister, K. 2014. Movement-Based Game Guidelines. CHI 2014. Long paper. 10 pages. 30 sec preview video.

Walmink, W., Chatham, A., Mueller, F. 2014. Interaction Opportunities Around Helmet Design. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages. 30 sec preview videoVideo.

Garner, J., Wood, G., Pijnappel, S., Murer, M., Mueller, F. 2014. i-dentity: Innominate Representation as Engaging Movement Game Element. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages. Video.

Khot, R., Lee, J., Munz, H., Aggarwal, D., Mueller, F. 2014. TastyBeats: Making Mocktails with Heart Beats. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages. 30 sec preview videoVideo.

Sargeant, B., Mueller, F. 2014. How Far is UP? Encouraging Social Interaction Through Children’s Book App Design. CHI 2014. Interactivity. 4 pages.

Garner, J., Wood, G. 2014. i-dentity: Concealing Movement Representation Associations in Games. CHI 2014. Student Game Competition. 4 pages. FINALIST.

Mueller, F., Marshall, J., Khot, R., Nylander, S., Tholander, J. 2014. Jogging with Technology: Interaction Design Supporting Sport Activities. Special Interest Group (organizing). 4 pages.

Mentis, H., Höök, K., Mueller, F., Isbister, K., Khut, G.P., Robertson, T. 2014. Designing for the Experiential Body. CHI 2014. Panel. 5 pages. Video.

Khot, R., Lee, J., Hjorth, L., Mueller, F. 2014. SweatAtoms: Understanding Physical Activity through Material Artifacts. CHI 2014. Videoshowcase. 1 page. Video.

Nylander, S., Tholander, J., Mueller, F., Marshall, J. 2014. HCI and Sports. CHI 2014. Workshop (organizing). 4 pages.

Deen, M., Cercos, R., Chatham, A., Naseem, A., Fowler, A., Bernhaupt, R., Schouten, B., Mueller, F. 2014. CHI 2014 Game Jam [4Research]: Game Jams as a Research Tool. CHI 2014. Workshop (organizing). 4 pages.

Byrne, R. 2014. Game Jam 4 Research. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Garner, J. 2014. Design for Digital, Physical, Social Play. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Goddard, W. 2014. Issues and Opportunities Facing Game Jams for Design Research. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Segura, E. 2014. Jamming and researching the Play BOOST framework. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Toprak, C. 2014. Game Jams: A Method for Starting, Working On and Completing Games. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Game Jam [4Research] workshop. 4 pages.

Andres, J. 2014. The Lights Track. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for HCI and Sports workshop. 4 pages.

Khot, R., Hjorth, L., Aggarwal, D., Mueller, F. 2014. Supporting Autonomy in Physical Activity through Material Artifacts. CHI 2014. Workshop submission for Positive Computing workshop. 4 pages.


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Talks at Disability Sport & Recreation Festival

eelkeEelke and Ruth gave a talk each at the Disability Sport & Recreation Festival at Federation Square, Melbourne. The festival promotes healthy, active lifestyles through accessible and inclusive sport and recreation and is Victoria’s premier event for the disability sport and recreation sector, taking place annually in Melbourne



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Game Talks: Stephen Barrass, University of Canberra

Games Talks - Stephen BarrassYou are invited to attend this talk hosted by the Exertion Games Lab entitled “SweatSonics” by  Stephen Barrass. Stephen will be visiting us in the lab from 17 – 24 March.
When: Monday 17 March 2014, 1:00pm – 2:00pm.
Where: Pavilion 2, Level 10, RMIT Design Hub (Building 100) 
The dance-aerobics of the 70s introduced music to enhance enjoyment and social synchronisation in fitness activities. In the 1980’s the Sony Walkman allowed joggers to chose their own music to enhance motivation and reduce fatigue. Music has proven effects on emotion, and for example the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps listens to rap and techno before a big race to get into the ‘zone’. More recently, sportswear brands have introduced music apps on mobile devices that interactively select songs with tempo matched to jogging pace measured by a wireless sensor.
The advances in wireless sensor technology have led to an increasing interest in interactive feedback about movements and physiological condition directly to the athlete during the training session. The need to provide feedback in visually busy, hands-busy and attention-demanding sporting activities lends itself to sonic feedback through realtime data sonification.
In this talk, Stephen will
  • overview the state of the art in realtime sensor sonification in sports,
  • present experiments on the aesthetics of sonification in rowing,
  • present the open source Mozzi Sonification Synthesiser that allows rapid prototyping on the Arduino microcontroller,
  • discuss work in progress on sensor sonification at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Stephen Barrass is an Associate Professor in Digital Design and Media Arts at the University of Canberra. You can check his full bio here: http://stephenbarrass.com/about/
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New paper on dance gaming at FDG2014

fdg2014Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller co-authored a paper on dance gaming with Miko Charbonneau (who did most of the work), who recently graduated with a PhD on the topic and is now at Microsoft Studios. The paper has been accepted at Foundations of Digital Games 2014:

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TEI’14 big success

Our 3 presentations at TEI 2014, the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, were a big success, with many people applauding our presentation style:

Displaying Heart Rate Data on a Bicycle Helmet to Support Social Exertion Experiences

Associated paper.

Designing Interactive Technology for Skateboarding

Associated paper.  Video shown during presentation.

Designing Mediated Combat Play

Associated paperVideo shown during presentation.

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4 long papers accepted for CHI 2014

We are very happy to announce that we have 4 full papers accepted at CHI 2014, to be held in Toronto, Canada. CHI is the top conference in the field of human-computer interaction and this year’s acceptance rate for full papers was 23%. Having 4 papers accepted is a significant achievement, confirming our status as one of the top game research labs in Australia.

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New book chapter

We have a new book chapter out called “Technologies in Exertion Games” in the Routledge Handbook of Sports Technology and Engineering:

Mueller, F. 2013. Technologies in Exertion Games. Book chapter in Fuss, F., Subic, A., Strangwood, M. and Mehta, R. Routledge Handbook of Sports Technology and Engineering, Routledge, p. 94-108.


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Games Talks: “Playing Games without Visual Feedback” by Eelke Folmer

When: Thursday 12 December 2013, 4:00pm – 5:00pm.
Where: Pavilion 4, Level 10, RMIT Design Hub (Building 100)

“Playing Games without Visual Feedback” by Eelke Folmer

With compelling, realistic video graphics constituting such a major part of the game experience, it is hard to imagine playing games without any visual feedback. Though the web and email are largely accessible to individuals with visual impairments, commercial video games are not; as they require their players to respond to visual stimuli that indicate what input to provide and when. In this talk, Eelke will discuss some of the barriers that players with visual impairments face when playing video games. He will present a number of novel audio and haptic interfaces developed by his research lab, and which can make virtual worlds (SecondLife), and exercise games (Nintendo Wii and Kinect) accessible to players that are blind. He will also present a machine learning/crowdsourcing techniques for making user generated virtual world content accessible.

Eelke Folmer is an Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Nevada in Reno. His research is focused on accessibility/assistive technology, wearable computing, haptics and video games. His research is largely motivated by the belief that a disability can be turned into a driver of innovation and that solving interaction design problems for users with “extreme” abilities allows for discovering interaction solutions that could benefit anyone. Eelke’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Microsoft Research and Google Research. He is joining the Exertion Games Lab as a visiting professor until January. An overview of projects can be found here: eelke.com/projects
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Sarah gave another keynote

Sarah Jane Pell gave another keynote address at the Microwave International New Media Arts Festival in Hong Kong on 2 November 2013.

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6 Interactive Entertainment publications online

Our 6 papers presented at Interactive Entertainment are available in the ACM Digital Library now and on our publications page:

Garner, J., Wood, G., Pijnappel, S., Murer, M., Mueller, F. 2013. Combining Moving Bodies With Digital Elements: Design Space Between Players and Screens. Interactive Entertainment: IE 2013. 10 pages. Video.

Pell, S., Mueller, F. 2013. Designing for Depth: Underwater Play. Interactive Entertainment: IE 2013. 6 pages. Video

Mueller, F., Walmink, W. 2013. Duel Reality: A Sword-Fighting Game For Novel Gameplay Around Intentionally Hiding Body Data. Interactive Entertainment: IE 2013. 5 pages. Video.

Mueller, F., Gibbs, M.R., Vetere, F. 2013. Reflections on Designing Networked Exertion Games. Interactive Entertainment: IE 2013. 8 pages.

Khot, R., Mueller, F., Hjort, L. 2013. SweatAtoms: Materializing Physical Activity. Interactive Entertainment: IE 2013. 7 pages. Video.

Cercos, R., Mueller, F. 2013. Watch your Steps: Designing a Semi-Public Display to Promote Physical Activity. Interactive Entertainment: IE 2013. 6 pages.

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3 full paper publications at TEI 2014

Sebastiaan and Wouter and all helpers have another success story: 3 full papers are accepted (acceptance rate was 27%) at TEI 2014, the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, to be presented next year in Munich, Germany. Congratulations!

The papers are now available on the publications page:

Walmink, W., Wilde, D., Mueller, F. 2014. Displaying Heart Rate Data on a Bicycle Helmet to Support Social Exertion Experiences. International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction: TEI 2014. 8 pages.

Pijnappel, S., Mueller, F. 2014. Designing Interactive Technology for Skateboarding. International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction: TEI 2014. 8 pages. Video.

Mueller, F., Gibbs, M.R., Vetere, F., Agamanolis, S., Edge, D. 2014. Designing Mediated Combat Play. International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction: TEI 2014. 8 pages. Video.

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Sarah’s keynote at Smartgeometry 2013

Sarah’s keynote at Smartgeometry 2013 in London, UK. Smartgeometry is the world’s premier event focused on computational and parametric design tools, technologies, and methodologies that allow and encourage new forms of architectural and structural expression.

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New publication

Amy, Chet and Jayden together with Chad and Alan got their new Musical Embrace work accepted to Digra, and Amy will present it in Atlanta, USA:

Huggard, A., De Mel, A., Garner, J., Toprak, C., Chatham, A., Mueller, F. 2013. Understanding a Socially Awkward Digital Play Journey. Digra 2013. Full paper. 11 pages. Video.

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PhD openings in the Exertion Games Lab at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia

The Exertion Games Lab (exertiongameslab.org) at RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) in Melbourne, Australia, is seeking exceptional PhD candidates to research the future of digital play.

The Exertion Games Lab is looking for candidates who value an interdisciplinary design studio environment, are highly motivated, willing to learn a variety of skills, are extremely creative as well as technical, and also have highly developed analytical and communicative skills. Prior research experience (publications, etc.) is desirable and so are hardware prototyping abilities (Arduino, etc.) and programming skills (Processing, etc.). We are looking at potential for creativity, excellence and drive.

We are particularly looking for candidates interested in a) promoting more walking activity during the day or b) supporting extreme sports with digital play technology (see our skateboarding project http://exertiongameslab.org/projects/copy-paste-skate).

Entry requirements:

You will need to have a four-year degree (Honours if you have an Australian degree) or a
three-year Bachelor and a Master’s degree. Typical backgrounds are game design,
interaction design, human-computer interaction, computer science, industrial design,
electrical engineering and arts but we are curious to hear what you can contribute. All
nationalities are encouraged to apply. The PhDs in the Exertion Games Lab take 3 years. All
applicants will need to apply for and be accepted to the PhD program in Media and
Communication at RMIT University, see www.rmit.edu.au/mediacommunication/researchdegrees. Start date is end of 2013 or early 2014. The scholarships are according to the Australian Postgraduate Award rate of AUD 24,653 per year and include a new Macbook Air with 27” display. We are also offering a great open-plan lab environment in the Design Hub, Australia’s newest interdisciplinary design research centre at RMIT University.

The application deadline is 15 Sep 2013. 

The Exertion Games Lab is a new lab that researches the future of
gaming and play in order to understand how to design better interactive
experiences. Our research is focused on the merging of play, technology and the active human
body, drawing from research streams such as interaction design, human-
computer interaction and computer games research.

The culture in the Exertion Games Lab is one of interdisciplinary
work. At the Exertion Games Lab, we do not just philosophize and write
about the future, we actively invent it. We emphasize the development
of working prototypes in order to fully understand what play is, why
we play, and how we will play in the future. We do this because we
believe playing and gaming is a fundamental part of what makes us
humans who we are, and an understanding of this brings us closer to
our vision of a better world filled with interactive technologies that
support human values.

Please submit your application (CV, brief research proposal letter, transcript of latest results and portfolio URL) by email to Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller (exertiongameslab at  rmit.edu.au) before 15 Sep 2013 to receive full consideration.

Looking forward to reading your applications!

The Exertion Games Lab

* We should also mention that you will be doing your PhD right in the
heart of the world’s most livable city, Melbourne:

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Chad’s talk

Chad was invited to give a talk at “w00t”, the Copenhagen Play Festival in Denmark, on his research work on play in changing spaces:


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Digital Interventions talk

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller is giving a talk on “Bodily Digital Play” in the Digital Interventions seminar series on 24 July 2013, 4pm, in the Design Research Institute: “DIGITAL INTERVENTIONS explores how digital media, methods and practice are participating in contemporary and emergent processes of change.” Details here.

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PAX Australia

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller speaks on a panel at PAX Australia, on “Videogames are Good For You (and other ridiculous ideas)” organized by our friends from the Young and Well CRC. If you like the indie games at PAX, you’ll love the games at Hovergarden the next day, Monday, 22 July 2013.

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Cart-Load-O-Fun in Sydney

Chad presented his Cart-Load-O-Fun public transport game in Sydney, Australia, on the train as part of CUSP’s design exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse, run by the Australian Design Centre and supported by the Australian Government and the Sydney train authority. A nice write-up is here.

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