Official course description, subject to change:
Preliminary info last published 17/05-21

Play Lab

Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price (single subject):
21250 DKK (incl. vat)
MSc. Master
MSc in Games
Course semester
Efterår 2022
29 August 2022
30 December 2022
Exam type
ekstern censur
Grade Scale
Exam Language
This course teaches how to explore technologies for their potential in regards to play.

This is not a game design course.

PlayLab is a studio-based course focused on exploring the design space of emerging technologies from the perspective of play. By combining theory from game design, interaction design, philosophy of technology, and media theory, PlayLab both explores the knowledge required to create new concepts for cutting-edge commercial technologies and proposes new methods and paradigms for developing content for those platforms. This course explores new and emerging technologies from a play design perspective, while engaging with interaction design theory, philosophy of technology, and science and technology studies. Throughout the course students explore the design challenges and opportunities that arise with new digital technology. A central part of the work is the development of that explore future forms of digital play. This is a course about finding the play element in cutting-edge technology.

In 2021, these technologies will be AR, AI-powered Voice Assistants, and OpenAI’s GTP-2 text generator. We will be using ARKit and/or ARCore, the Web Speech API, and a selection of Colaboratory Notebooks and other platforms. Prospective students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these technologies before the course starts.

The Web Speech will be introduced using this tutorial:

GPT-2 will be introduced using this tutorial as a starting point:

PlayLab introduces students to the method of Critical Technical Practice (Agre, 1997). The course presents students with relevant theory for the exploration of play design as a method for creating interactive experiences with new and emerging technologies. At the same time, PlayLab is a practical course in which students develop one proof-of-concept and one fully-fledged prototype that explore both the theory and the material properties of the selected technologies. Students can choose which technology to use for each of these requirements.

PlayLab is a course that allows students to think while making, and make while thinking, exclusively focused in the challenges of new and emerging commercial digital technologies.

Formal prerequisites

PlayLab is not a course about game design. Therefore, students are not required to have passed any course on game design. In general, the course has no prerequisites.

It is an advantage if students are familiar with design methods and theories. Technical skills are not a requirement, but since this is a studio-based course, development skills are welcome.

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Analyze the design space of new and emerging technologies, as well as their technological possibilities and limits.
  • Describe the different insights that play provides as a design perspective.
  • Explore the playful possibilities of new and emerging commercial technologies
  • Design and develop new play experiences and concepts tailored for new and emerging commercial technologies.
  • Apply advanced concepts in play theory to the literature and practice of design
  • Understand advanced concepts in play theory as applicable to the analysis of digital playful technologies
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
C1G: Submission of written work for groups