The Glasgow academics intend to investigate the uses of gaming technology in education, and to support colleagues in experimental projects, including those turning research into games, as well as finding new ways of educating and engaging the public.
The new lab, based at the university’s College of Arts, has been set up to promote research into games and gaming, looking at everything from Tabletop to Electronic media, from Children to Adults, and across time periods from Ancient to Modern, Fantasy, and Futuristic.
The Games and Gaming Lab launch comes just months after the University held the world’s largest historical table top game replaying the Battle of Waterloo, and after Law academics recently launched a prototype board game called Legally Wed, to help the public negotiate the complex legal world of marriage.
The team of co-directors and co-founders of the Lab include Dr Timothy Peacock, Lecturer in History, Dr Jane Draycott, Lecturer in Classics, and Dr Dimitra Fimi, Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature, who are based at the School of Humanities; and Dr Matthew Barr, Lecturer in Computing Science, based at the School of Computing Science.
Dr Peacock said: “Some 32 million people across the UK play video games, across a wide variety of genres, supporting a multi-billion-pond industry in which Scotland is a leading global player.
“Many of these games are increasingly being used for research, teaching, training and simulations alongside their traditional entertainment value, as well as part of treatment and rehabilitation of physical and mental health trauma.
“In the University of Glasgow, we have been looking at the uses of games from modern computer games to table top and board games to help showcase exciting new research and perspectives.”
The launch event included a video talk from US-based Astrogamer, programmer and Glasgow alumni Scott Manley as well as a talk by BAFTA-winning Glasgow games developers NoCode, along with stalls showcasing gaming research from across the university.
Professor Dauvit Broun, director of the University’s Arts Lab, which supports research-led activities, said: “The strength of the Arts Lab concept is that it encourages research and interdisciplinary collaboration in the University of Glasgow. It also promotes productive research links to the university’s outstanding museum, art and research collections.
“This is an exciting time for arts research and collaboration at the University of Glasgow. I am delighted to see the launch of the Games and Gaming Lab which will look to grow experimental work on games and gaming to find new ways of educating and engaging with our research work.”
The purpose of Arts Lab, which includes the Games and Gaming lab, is to support and encourage research and interdisciplinary collaboration across the College of Arts.