The hacker known mostly as Windmill is one of the most infamous and skilled hackers in the world, with a reputation for being brilliant but high-strung. He does freelance work for the highest bidder, and many could use work of his level in the world of corporate warfare.
Following an attack on the Sarif Manufacturing Plant, Adam Jensen confronts the hacker Yune, but the augmented mole is forced to kill himself rather than be taken alive. After recovering the dead man's neural hub, Jensen learns that the man was being remotely accessed by another hacker, who turns out to be van Bruggen.
Van Bruggen is hiding out in Hengsha since the attack on Sarif Industries did not go as planned. He is being hidden by a local triad called the Harvesters in the Alice Garden Pods. Though it is true that Arie van Bruggen was hacking Sarif Industries remotely via Yune, he was only a hired hand and has no idea what is really going on. He tells Jensen to go after his employer Zhao Yun Ru of Tai Yong Medical to find answers. Being a cautious man, van Bruggen secretly recorded and hid a video of Zhao to use as an insurance policy, but he was unable to secure the footage before he had to escape from the company's headquarters.
The evidence is still at Tai Yong Medical, but van Bruggen assures Jensen that it has the information he is looking for. He creates a fake ID for Jensen to infiltrate the facility, but before he and Jensen can part ways, Belltower troopers arrive at the Pods, looking for van Bruggen. The frightened hacker then asks Jensen for a weapon before hiding.
If Jensen gave van Bruggen a weapon as requested, the hacker survives the attack and later contacts Jensen at Tai Yong Medical. As a sign of his gratitude, van Bruggen hacks and adds 2000 credits to Jensen's bank account.
If Jensen refused to give away a weapon, van Bruggen curses Jensen and runs back in to hide in his pod. Even if Jensen were to safely take out all the guards in the Alice Garden Pods, he cannot interact with van Bruggen's pod and does not hear from him the rest of the game. If Jensen is fast enough, he can kill or knock out van Bruggen and take 500 credits from his body. It is later revealed by Tong Si Hung that van Bruggen was killed by Belltower.
- The player cannot provide van Bruggen with a nonlethal weapon, like a stun gun or P.E.P.S. If the player is not carrying any lethal weapons, the game will default to a refusal, and Jensen will say "Sorry, seems I'm not carrying a spare."
- The handle "Windmill" is an obvious joke about his Dutch nationality.
- The hidden room in his apartment is festooned with many, many strange notes to himself. Examples include "Buy broccoli and lube", "Call mom" and notes written in 8-bit binary code. There are also some notes with the "Forever Alone" face drawn on them, along with the name Rachel and a phone number starting in 555.
- He has augmentation marks on his forehead, hinting that he has cerebral implants.
- If the Alice Garden Pods manager's computer is hacked, an e-mail from Tong Si Hung titled "Pod 301" says to give the resident anything he wants as he is running a hack job for Tong. The three pods surrounding 301, as well as the four across the hall, are entirely filled with servers and a massive amount of network cables.
- A pocket secretary hidden under the same hotel manager's computer suggests van Bruggen broke through the hotel firewall essentially for fun, and proves this by listing the computer user and password.
- Hacking TYM computers and reading e-mails reveals that Arie was the head of a team of cyber specialists whom he constantly harassed for fun by hacking into their accounts, informing them of it, and in one occasion sending an employee's stash of pornography to all of their contacts, including family.
- One of the e-mails on a TYM computer near the Data Core room suggests that van Bruggen and famous real-world hacker Kevin Mitnick are familiar and work with each other.
- He seems to be bisexual; an e-mail from Tong instructs the Alice Garden Pods manager to "give him whatever he wants", including "boys" and "girls". He has a note in his room with a woman's number on it, and he also tells Jensen "you're not my type", insinuating he's attracted to men as well as women.
- His last name in Dutch means "of/from Brugge". Old toponyms are a very common form of Dutch surnames and this one hints at some distant ancestry from the Flemish city of Brugge (Bruges in English, French).
- Van Bruggen surviving the Alice Garden Pods incident is considered to be canon during the events of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. If Adam hacks Ethan King's desktop computer in the Task Force 29 headquarters, an e-mail conversation between King and Peter Chang mentions of a "potential Windmill sighting" in the form of a hack on Tai Yong Medical, with a Dutch-programmed trojan horse with "AVB" used as a decryption key. Chang encourages King to follow up on his findings on proving Van Bruggen's survival.