Re:Game Lab (2008–2012)

A research lab providing access to game hardware and software.

Video games are marked by rapidly changing game media, controller interfaces, and the proprietary game platforms for which they are designed. This creates access problems for researchers above and beyond the problems of platform obsolescence already pervasive in the study of general personal computing.

By providing access to hardware/software and encouraging exploration of the complex layer between game devices and game experiences, Re:Game aimed to develop a general model of games scholarship and remove the accessibility issues that often obstruct historical awareness and quality discourse.

Data capture was also central to the lab—both gameplay video and the player's biometric data (key-presses, eye movement, facial expression, pulse, heart rate, and brain activity) could be recorded with ease. This data provided a bridge for indirectly game-related researchers to conduct game-related studies (cognitive science, ethnography, HCI) as well as enabling artists to engage in remix culture.

The lab was was co-directed by Jeremy Douglass and myself and was located at Calit2 (UCSD). The lab's model and methodology are intended for adoption by other game research initiatives.