Outdoor virtual arcade at Southbank

Outdoor virtual arcade at Southbank

A “futuristic outdoor” gaming area – which uses digital sensing technology – has transformed Southbank’s Queensbridge Square.

The free pop-up arcade officially opened this month with participants of all ages and abilities invited to play the digital games which includes creating unique virtual art and solving quizzes.

The games work by a camera tracking players’ movements so they can use their bodies to control the game in real time on a large LED screen.

The City of Melbourne partnered with tech specialists and engineers at SAGE Group as well as Swinburne University to develop the outdoor arcade which is open seven days a week from 7am to 8pm, until March 3.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the arcade was an initiative to bring fun, inclusive experiences to the city.

“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,” she said. “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.” 

Swinburne University Centre for Design Innovation Professor Jeni Paay said final year design students, who helped in developing the arcade, were able to gain “industry experience, on a real-world project, where they get to see the results in the city.”

SAGE Automation Smart Cities technical lead Ashby Martin said they “pushed the limits of what we could do with the technology.”  •

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