Official course description, subject to change:

Preliminary info last published 15/05-23
Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price for EU/EEA citizens (Single Subject):
21250 DKK
MSc. Master
MSc in Games
Course manager
Professor, Head of Center
Course semester
Efterår 2024
26 August 2024
24 January 2025
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. PlayLab is a course about playing with software, and in doing so engaging in critical 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 prototypes that explore future forms of digital play, where and how they may succeed or fail. This is a course about finding the play element in cutting-edge technology.

In 2022, these technologies will be web-based Machine Learning, and OpenAI’s GTP-2 text generator. Examples will be introduced using p5.js and ml5.js, as well as a selection of Colaboratory Notebooks and other platforms. Prospective students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these technologies before the course starts. Students are also welcome to use whichever technologies they are comfortable with in for making their projects. The best tool is that which gets the job done.

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