Saturday, April 13, 2024

Melbourne game for virtual arcade

Southbank’s Queensbridge Square has been transformed into an outdoor virtual arcade, as part of a City of Melbourne Council initiative to bring fun, inclusive experiences to the CBD.

​The Open Arcade pilot uses digital sensing technology, allowing players to use their bodies to control the game in real time on the big screen. 

“We’re taking gaming outdoors this summer with our Open Arcade – a unique new experience, allowing people to step into a virtual world on the streets of our CBD,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp. 

“During a soft launch in December, players enjoyed more than 100 games a day, and we expect thousands more will check it out over the next six weeks.  

“The pop-up attraction is free, family-friendly and safe to enjoy in the open-air, making it the perfect addition to a fun-filled day out in the city.” 

The free pop-up features four digital games which can be enjoyed by up to 12 players at a time, and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Council has partnered with SAGE Group and Swinburne University to develop the digital games, as part of the Reimagining the City Challenge.

“Our final year Bachelor of Design students were given the opportunity to collaborate with the developers of the Open Arcade pilot to explore design alternatives and aspects of open-air gaming to inspire and inform the development of the final game,” said Swinburne University Centre for Design Innovation Director, Professor Jeni Paay

“This gave the students industry experience, on a real-world project, where they get to see the results in the city.”

The Open Arcade is open seven days a week from 7am to 8pm, until 3 March.

How it works

The Open Arcade uses digital sensing technology. A camera tracks players’ movements so they can use their bodies to control the game in real time on the large LED screen. A processor and a supercomputer, wifi, bluetooth and custom software make it work.

Four digital games can be enjoyed by up to 12 players at once. Players of any age, ability, language or prior knowledge can participate. The games also allow for social distancing and are played in an open space.

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