Welcome to the Games & Society Lab

At the Games & Society Lab, our students and faculty are dedicated to the research and development of playful, interactive experiences. The aim is to advance our understanding of games as media and push the boundaries of what games can be.

The Games & Society Lab is a research hub at the Department of Game Design at Uppsala University Campus Gotland. Our researchers investigate how games impact the lives of designers, players, communities, and the broader society at large. We view games not as distinct from the “real world,” but as valid and meaningful experiences. Our research explores games as part of larger psychological, social, and cultural systems within which players operate.

Research at the Games & Society Lab

Our work focuses on three overall categories of research. These categories are often interdependent, mixing and overlapping with one another.

  1. Psychology of play,

  2. Cultures of play, and

  3. Transformative play.

Our students and faculty come from all parts of the world and bring together a broad range of design and research interests. We study a wide variety of digital and analog games. Some examples include virtual, text-based, tabletop, board, live action role-playing (larp), and freeform games. The lab focuses on games in a variety of contexts. We study games taking place for their own sake, such as in leisure settings. We also investigate games designed for specific purposes, such as educational and therapeutic environments.

Students and faculty work together in the lab sharing their varied cultural backgrounds and expertise. We regularly cultivate collaborations with outside academics, researchers, developers, and industry leaders. The lab also hosts guest lectures, workshops, and roundtable discussions from international experts in the field.

Read more about how we explore Psychology of Play.

Read more about how we explore Cultures of Play.

Read more about how we explore Transformative Play.


Read about all our ongoing research projects.

Last modified: 2021-04-20