The GameLab UNIL-EPFL was founded in 2016 as the “UNIL GameLab”. Today, this study group is based both at the Faculty of Arts (UNIL) and the College of Humanities (EPFL), creating a link between them around these digital artifacts. The group seeks to act as a centre of expertise in the promotion of academic approaches to games (via research and the organisation of conferences, workshops, public and training courses).

Research activities at the GameLab cover among many topics the relations between film studies and game studies, the history of Swiss video games / video games in Switzerland, the archiving of video games (in collaboration with Musée Bolo), and the application of digital humanities methods for the study of video games. They also explore the long tradition of using video games in pedagogical contexts.

Teaching activities at the GameLab : the members of the GameLab are giving courses on video games in the SHS program, the department of Language and Information Sciences, and for the Formation Continue UNIL-EPFL.

Research activities at the GameLab:

During the first confinement taking place in Switzerland, the GameLab collaborated with the Initiative for Media Innovation and newspaper Le Temps to create a game documenting these dark times called “Four Flats and a Confinement”.

The GameLab is currently working in association with the Lausanne Time Machine initiative on the development of a video game on the history of the city of Lausanne: Lausanne 1830, which will be used as an educational tool in schools.

> Access the game “Four Flats and a Confinement”

Coming in 2022:

  • “Randomness, Alea and Uncertainty in video games”


These conferences took place 6 times between October 2020 and June 2021. They brought together actors from the EPFL-UNIL campus who are close to the field of video game studies (game engines, virtual reality, gamification, etc.) and proposed an overview of research and teaching activities in this field.

> View the conferences on Youtube

Teaching activities at the GameLab:

This Bachelor 3rd year course allows the students to learn the basics of video game creation. A strong emphasis is put on the understanding of game mechanics allowing to transmit a message or document a phenomenon: the gamification.

> See/play games

This Bachelor 3rd year course proposing to explore how social sciences and humanities approach the study of video games. It covers topics going from the study of sociological phenomena related to digital games to the game design of collaborative play.

The GameLab UNIL-EPFL also participates in the pedagogical activities of the Formation Continue UNIL-EPFL with the courses Video Game Studies, given by Selim Krichane, and Digital Writings, given by Isaac Pante (UNIL).

Links and contact:

Main website of the GameLab UNIL-EPFL

Contact: David Javet