Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller is designing a future of play. As Director of the Exertion Games Lab at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Mueller and his team design interactive experiences that combine play, gaming and sports thinking.

“We do this because we believe playing and gaming is a fundamental part of what makes us human, and an understanding of this brings us closer to our vision of a better world filled with interactive technologies that support human values.”

Mueller creates exertion games, designed to support physical health and well being, as well as nurture social connectedness and team building. Most importantly, they are also designed to be fun. Mainstream exertion games such as Nintendo Wii illustrate present-day thinking for how technology can engage us physically. The exertion games in development at Mueller’s lab move beyond current knowledge, exploring new possibilities for how technology can elicit physical and social outcomes for players.

Mueller’s Hanging off a Bar considers how an exertion game can engage an inactive body. Exhibited as part of CUSP, players are challenged to hang off a bar above a projected simulation of a wild river for as long as possible, only resting for a few moments when the occasional ‘raft’ floats downstream. The longer the player is able to hang on, the less frequent the rafts become, rapidly exhausting the hands, arms and stomach muscles. This deceptively easy game is in fact difficult – very difficult. A typical round lasts a mere 30-50 seconds before players drop from the bar exhausted.

During the exhibition in Sydney, Mueller, along with Chad Toprak, will also present Cart-Load-O-Fun, an exertion game that aims to transform the often-isolating experience of travelling on public transport. Taking the format of a two-player computer game, Mueller turns this scenario into a site for impromptu play between passengers. During CUSP Cart-Load-O-Fun will run on selected train carriages between Central Station and Casula Station.

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller is very grateful for the support received from Bert Bongers, Andrew Lewis, Cagdas ‘Chad’ Toprak, Eberhard Graether and Luke Sayers.

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