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:

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.


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.


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.


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

The Exertion Games Lab ( 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

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 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 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:


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:



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.


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.


2 more publications: Ubicomp’13

2 more publications for the Exertion Games Lab: Amy, Alan and Rohit are going to Ubicomp, the premier conference in the field of ubiquitous and pervasive computing. Acceptance rate was 18%. Amy also received a travel award, and Rohit was accepted to the doctoral consortium.

Huggard, A., De Mel, A., Garner, J., Toprak, C., Chatham, A., Mueller, F. 2013. Musical Embrace: Exploring Social Awkwardness in Digital Games. Ubicomp 2013. Note. 4 pages. Video.

Chatham, A., Mueller, F. 2013. Adding an Interactive Display to a Public Basketball Hoop can Motivate Players and Foster Community. Ubicomp 2013. Long paper. 10 pages. Video.


Sarah speaking at the 24th Symposium on Space Activity and Society

Sarah will be speaking at the IAC 2013, the 64th International Astronautical Congress, 24th Symposium on Space Activity and Society in Beijing, China.

Here is the associated publication:

Pell & Mueller (2013) Designing mixed gravity exertion games for humans in space, IAC 2013 64th International Astronautical Congress, 24th SYMPOSIUM ON SPACE ACTIVITY AND SOCIETY (E5) New architectural, Strategic and Design Approaches to the Future of Human Space Flight (1) Beijing CH

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