Academic game labs take on a variety of forms at the universities that house them. Their funding structures, resources, and positions can come in varied nuanced configurations. This panel brings together a bevy of directors from academic game labs to share stories about starting, managing, shaping and even leaving labs. They have all attempted to define (and differentiate) the goals or missions of their labs, their relationship to the larger academy, and where they stand with regards to game studies/research as a field/discipline. Panelists will discuss their struggles and triumphs, how they and their labs have changed over the years, and anything else that can be packed into an hour-long discussion. The panelists will synthesize their experiences, field questions, and offer insights to those working with labs, hoping to start one, or seeking to better understand the various possible functions of a game lab.
What Are They and How Do You (Not) Start One?