• UCLA Game Lab Arcade Backpack

  • Flatland ARG gameplay test.

  • Stage Performance by Isla Hansen at the UCLA Game Art Festival.

  • Ddook Ddak Kimbap!, part of the food game mess hall for the UCLA Game Art Festival.

  • Punk Arcade, workshop and exhibition, organized by Sarah Brin and Lee Tusman.

  • Workshop on alternative interfaces with Swissnex.

The UCLA Game Lab fosters the production of games and game-related research within an Experimental Art and Design context.

The UCLA Game Lab emphasizes conceptual risk-taking and the development of new modes of expression and form through gaming.

We are an experimental research and development lab that fosters the production of computer games and game-related research. The lab supports exploration of these areas of focus: Game Aesthetics through experimentation in the look, sound, language and tactility of games; Game Context through development of games that involve the body, new interfaces, physical space and performance in new ways; and Game Genres through examination of the socio-historic-political discourse around games and the development of new game genres that challenge the presently accepted boundaries of what games are about.

The UCLA Game Lab differs from more traditional game development contexts through an emphasis on conceptual risk-taking and development of new modes of expression and form through gaming. The lab supports projects that will establish new paradigms for gaming that emphasize the self-reliance and personal expression of the gaming artist.

The UCLA Game Lab’s primary  function is as a research and production space for collaborative teams to pursue focused work on gaming projects, while benefiting from the technological infrastructure and expertise provided by the lab staff and faculty. This type of incubation space creates a context of community, interdisciplinary exchange, privacy, focus and continuity that is vitally conducive toward the completion of ambitious game projects.

In addition to producing games and research the lab also functions as a center that develops public programing around critical issues in gaming. Including: public lectures, workshops, exhibitions, a visiting artist program, and an annual public festival at the Hammer Museum.

At UCLA, the Game Lab encourages the development of organic relationships across a multitude of disciplines. Game production and research brings together individuals from diverse disciplines such as visual art, design, media art, animation, music, theater, film, dance, creative writing, architecture, sociology, philosophy, psychology, history, computer science, and engineering; the possibilities for synergy between these disciplines and gaming at UCLA are tremendous.

The Game Lab is housed within the Design Media Arts department at UCLA. For more information about the DMA program, visit the website here. We are supported by the School of Arts and Architecture and the School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Click to learn more about our lab mission and
read an interview with our Director Eddo Stern


The UCLA Game Lab unites individuals across various disciplines who are passionate about games. Each Game Lab resident has a unique approach to gaming, bringing their specialized backgrounds and perspectives to the lab. Take a look at some of the people in the lab.

Garrett Johnson
Interactive Designer @ NASA
BA Independent Game Major, 2012
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John Brumley
MFA Media Arts, 2015
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Aliah M. Darke
MFA Media Arts, 2015
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Lea Schönfelder
Game Designer @ UsTwo Games
MFA Animation, 2013
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Nick Crockett
Game Designer
BFA Design Media Arts, 2013
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Heather Penn
Artistic Director
BFA Design Media Arts, 2011
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Kristyn Solie
Freelance Animator
BFA Design Media Arts, 2013
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Adeline Ducker
Game Designer
BFA Design Media Arts, 2010
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Partner Organizations

The UCLA Game Lab has collaborated with the following foundations, organizations, and individuals to present international exhibitions, performance programs, film series, and educational activities.

Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK)
UCLA Powell Library
UCLA Hammer Museum
Northern Spark Festival (Minneapolis, MN)
Culturehub [affiliate of Seoul Institute of the Arts] (Los Angeles, CA)
Consulate General of France (Los Angeles, CA)
Giant Robot (Los Angeles, CA)
Hypercube (Pasadena, CA)
Glitch City (Culver City, UT)
Eniarof Festival (Aix-en-Provence, France)
Genèva University of Art and Design [HEAD] (Geneva, CH)
Swissnex (San Francisco, CA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art [LACMA]
Skirball Cultural Center
Amber Festival (Istanbul, Turkey)
Bahçeşehir University Game Lab [BUG](Istanbul, Turkey)
Vector Festival (Toronto, Canada)
Glitch @ University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Game Developers Conference [GDC], (San Fransico, CA)
Spencer Art Museum (Kansas City, MI)
The Museum of Contemporary Art [MOCA] (Los Angeles, CA)
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Minneapolis, MN)
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
A MAZE Festival (Berlin, Germany)
Indiecade Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
NASA/JPL OPS Lab (Pasadena, CA)
Slamdance Film Festival (Park City, Utah)


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    Thanks to the following organizations that provide support that helps sustain the Game Lab's mission.