Exploring the Potential of Play

Level Up GAMBIT Game Lab At The MIT MuseumSince earliest recorded history, people of all ages and cultures have engaged in creative play. From the Olympics of ancient Greece to today’s massively multi-player online games, human beings have consistently turned to play as a means of connecting with one another and the world around them. Through play, we encounter challenges with delight, we brave overwhelming odds with hope, and we conquer our world with imagination. Play, as expressed in games, is the most positive response of the human spirit to a universe of uncertainty.

Modern games have brought the power of play to many endeavors – from entertainment to education, art to activism, science to socialization, and more. At the MIT Game Lab, we explore the potential of play in all these realms, particularly as it is amplified by new technologies. Combining the inventiveness of MIT engineering and computer science, the pedagogy of the MIT Education Arcade, and the research and development of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, the newly configured MIT Game Lab brings together scholars, creators, and technologists to teach, conduct research, and develop new approaches for applied game design and construction.

Ranked as a top game design program in North America by the Princeton Review since 2009, the MIT Game Lab maintains MIT’s role as a leader in the study, design, and development of games. Moving forward, the Lab’s goal is to explore, educate, and engage the public by creating groundbreaking games, interactive online courses, and new applications to real world challenges.

Uniting the resources and accomplishments of MIT’s Education Arcade and the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, the MIT Game Lab has a track record of developing games that demonstrate new research concepts and build on cutting-edge technology. The productivity and leadership of the Game Lab staff is demonstrated by its many accomplishments and its growing list of awards.


The MIT Game Lab’s areas of research investigation include:

  • Developing games to demonstrate and conduct research
  • Rapid Prototyping and play testing research
  • Meaningful and transformative experiences through gameplay
  • Player Research: Cultures, Experiences
  • E-Sports and professional computer gaming