At the Cologne Game Lab, academics from various disciplines conduct research – in their respective fields such as Game Design, Game Art, Sound Design, Game Informatics, Game Economics, and Game Studies, but very often in interdisciplinary teams. Our understanding and practice include classic basic research and applied projects (R&D) as well as academic publications and public events.

In recent years, during the rapid and substantial growth process of research at CGL, four focal points have emerged in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research:

  • Game Design Research, involving the explication models and methodologies from game development and applying the findings into the development of games for health, education, psychology, or humanitarian causes. Examples of CGL’s contributions in this area include The Antura Initiative, EPPSA, and the upcoming SOLVE project.
  • Game Art Research, which concerns the investigation of new forms of interactive art, such as installations, or the improvement of established aesthetic experiences in museums, galleries, etc. Examples of CGL’s contributions in this area are AirtimeVR and Virtual Bauhaus.
  • Game Programming Research, which covers topics like the use of new technology (AR, VR, etc.) and generative content as a method of development. An example of CGL’s research in this area is PES (Prozedurale Erstellung von Spielelemente, i.e., Procedural Creation of Game Elements).
  • Game Studies Research from a humanities perspective – games as meaning-making artefacts and their role in culture – and from a social science perspective – players and their social communities. An example of CGL’s research in this area is LdS (“Literalität des Spiel(en)s”; i.e.,Literacy of Games, Literacy of Play).

LdS, for example, combines basic theoretical Game Studies research with applied research in the fields of Game Design and Game Programming. Even more interdisciplinary is our current research project “Das Zukunftsmuseum” (“The Museum of the Future”): It involves researchers from all four of the four areas mentioned above.

The opportunity and capability to integrate approaches and methods from different disciplines concerned with games is a distinguishing feature of research at the CGL.