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The Playable Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research cluster that brings together scholars, creative technologists and game and playful experience designers with a shared interest in the cultures, technologies, histories and creative uses of play, playability and playfulness. Our interests extend across a range of digital, analogue and hybrid forms and formats and are explored within a variety of scholarly, performance and commercial contexts.

The Playable Media Lab provides a space in which researchers from a variety of areas - including computing, creative technology, performance, history and heritage and education - can interact in order to develop new ways of understanding the role and function of play and give rise to new practices and experiences that explore and make use of play and playfulness.


The Playable Media Lab is concerned with a number of research areas, including: the analysis and utilisation of rules, game mechanics, interfaces and the technologies of gameplay, audiovisualisation and interaction; the study of the histories, hidden histories and cultures of play and playful interactions; alternative applications of game engines; and exploring the uses of games for social and cultural change.


Research at the Playable Media Lab involves collaborations with Ritsumeikan Center for Games Research (Kyoto, Japan), The National Videogame Museum (UK), The Videogame Heritage Society and Lost Horizon HQ (UK).


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Playing in Public

Archiving Arcades

Japan, UK, USA

Playing in Public: The Arcade Archive is a research project that aims to define and share new methodologies in archiving games through play. Our intention is to create a digital archive of the experience and the people who play in arcades in key geographic locations. The way we play in public is changing (Experience Economy) and we want to capture that important period in the development of games - the arcade. Uncover hidden histories of underrepresented groups in the history of arcades (women, LGBTQ+, disability, Black and ethnic minority groups) and connect communities of play across the globe to see what we can learn from how we interact with and express play.

Arcade Game Joystick

In the lab...

Playable Media Lab is a design and research studio that specializes in creating immersive and engaging interactive experiences. Led by a team of experienced and passionate designers, game developers, historians, and artists, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with interactive media. 

Get in Touch

The Playable Media Lab is based in Creative Computing at Bath Spa University.

Newton Saint Loe



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