This week the University of Glasgow launched its brand new Games and Gaming Lab (GGLab), a cross-disciplinary laboratory exploring how games and gaming can be used to aid research, teaching and learning.
Part of the university’s Arts Lab and based at the College of Arts, the new lab 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 laboratory will 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 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.
The university has carried out some very interesting and unusual activities around gaming in the last few months. University recently held the world’s largest historical table top game, replaying the Battle of Waterloo. Academics from the university also recently launched a prototype board game called Legally Wed, to help the public negotiate the complex legal world of marriage.
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.”
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.”