WELCOME TO THE GAMES & SOCIETY LAB

Games have become among the most influential media of the 21st century.
Yet, we have only just begun to understand their impact on players and society as a whole.
The Games & Society Lab looks at game design, gameplay, players and contexts of play in regards to a wide range of socially relevant issues from education to health, personal development, civics and social behavior. 

Cultures of Play

While games can create new and imaginary worlds, they also reflect the world in which they are made and the people that make them. Games are affected by the social and cultural realities impacting the people making them, as well as the lens through which these designers view the world.
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Psychology of play

At the Games & Society Lab, we investigate how games affect the players’ psychology, and how the psychology of players affects play. Because the mind is always present in play experiences, we see psychology as a useful way to look at how players play, as well as how they interact with games and each other.
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Transformative Play

Whether played in leisure time or in professional contexts, play can impact us significantly. Games invite us to shift our perspectives, our behavior, our relationships, and our ways of interacting with the world around us. These shifts in perspective can lead us to feel more empowered, empathetic, aware, engaged, and skilled.
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The Transformative Play Initiative

Can games transform us in profound, meaningful, and lasting ways? Whether played in leisure time or in professional contexts, play can impact us significantly. Games invite us to shift our perspectives, our behavior, our relationships, and our ways of interacting with the world around us. These shifts in perspective can lead us to feel more empowered, empathetic, aware, engaged, and skilled. The Transformative Play Initiative combines these research interests with education.
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News & Events

  • Restorying Trans Game Studies: Playing with Memory, Fiction, and Magic for Transformative Identity Work
    Join us for our next lecture in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series: “Restorying Trans Game Studies: Playing with Memory, Fiction, and Magic for Transformative Identity Work” by Theresa Jean Tanenbaum! When: November 29, 2022, 7-8:30pm Where: Online on Zoom Register here: https://tinyurl.com/mrkvyf4u RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/678345303687088/ Desctiption: In this talk, Theresa Jean Tanenbaum (“Tess”) argues…
  • Transformative Play Initiative Seminar 2022: Programme and Registration
    Announcing the Transformative Play Initiative Seminar 2022 at Uppsala University Campus Gotland in Sweden! Organized by the Games & Society Lab at the Department of Game Design with financial support from the Sustainable Heritage Research Forum (SuHRF), this hybrid online and in-person event will feature short academic presentations by researchers and practitioners in the field of…
  • Transformative Play Initiative Seminar 2022: Call for Papers
    Announcing the Transformative Play Initiative Seminar 2022 at Uppsala University Campus Gotland in Sweden! Organized by the Games & Society Lab at the Department of Game Design with financial support from the Sustainable Heritage Research Forum (SuHRF), this hybrid online and in-person event will feature short academic presentations by researchers and practitioners in the field of…
  • Roundtable / Spring 2022
    Join us for our next roundtable in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series, this time with Lauri Lukka, John Stavropoulos, Elektra Diakolambrianou, Yeonsoo Julian Kim, and Katrin Geneuss! When: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 7:00 – 8:30 pm CEST (Central European Summer Time).Where: Online on Zoom Register at this link.RSVP at this link. Description: In the Spring 2022…
  • Town Hall / Spring 2022
    Announcing our second Town Hall Meeting in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series! Town Halls feature lightning talks from experts in the field to spark conversation, as well as group discussions among community members interested in the use of analog role-playing games as vehicles for lasting personal and social change. We welcome you to share…
  • To Play or Not to Play
    “Edu-Larp in Curricular Settings” by Katrin Geneuss Join us for our next lecture in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series: “To Play or Not to Play: Edu-Larp in Curricular Settings” by Katrin Geneuss!When: March 29, 2022, 7 – 8:30 PM Central European Time (CET)Where: Online on Zoom Register here.RSVP on the Facebook event here. Description of event:In…
  • Journey into Fear
    Join us for our next lecture in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series: “Journey into Fear: Horror as a Vehicle for Healing and Transformative Play” by Yeonsoo Julian Kim!When: March 15, 2022, 7 – 8:30 PM Central European Time (CET)Where: Online on Zoom Register hereRSVP on the Facebook event here Description: People are often attracted to horror…
  • Beyond the Couch
    “Psychotherapy and Live Action Role-playing” by Elektra Diakolambrianou Join us for our next lecture in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series: “Beyond the Couch: Psychotherapy and Live Action Role-playing” by Elektra Diakolambrianou!When: Feb 22, 2022, 7 – 8:30 PM Central European Time (CET)Where: Online on Zoom Register here: RSVP on the Facebook event here:  Description: The transformative potential…
  • Film and Literature Instruction through Live Action Role-Play – Evan Torner
    Enjoy this one (1) of three (3) Lightning Talks from the Fall 2021 Town Hall Meeting in the Transformative Play Initiative Event Series: “Film and Literature Instruction through Live Action Role-Play” by Evan Torner! Lightning talks are meant to spark conversation in our group discussions at Town Hall events, with the goal of inspiring networking…

COLLABORATE WITH US

We love to collaborate and we get frequent requests to do so from other units inside the university as well as outside.

Guidelines