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Free Ice Cream

The Interesting Games Lab IGLAB is a place to test and play new games. especially games that are played in the real world rather than via a console or screen, that are social, fun, and possibly absurd.

Iglab beacon against nighttime city-scape

Made by

Simon Johnson

I’m a game designer specialised in enabling people to play in real, social spaces. I design to amaze, activate and promote understanding. I am a co-director at Free Ice Cream, where we make complex subjects playable.

The acclaimed Iglab returns to the Pervasive Media Studio this July 25th, the first of a series of six.

Iglab does two things. It’s a testing ground for those who have a game idea they want to try out on people, and it’s also the place for those who want to play new games.

For those of you who have missed out on IGLAB the first time round, you can read about IGLAB's story here.

Coming to play?

Games can be outside or inside and might be sedate or high-octane. If you have access requirements, email us and we’ll do our best to make it possible for you to come.

If you want to help the game designers set their games up, come at 5.30pm to help out. If you just want to play, grab a beer from the Watershed bar and arrive at 7pm.

This first Iglab is free, but as we establish it we’ll start charging enough to cover expenses.

Bringing a game?

If you want to try out a game on a bunch of enthusiastic people who will give you feedback, tell us your game idea at  and we’ll see if we can programme it.

For this series we’re looking for game submissions that explore any of these 3 themes:

  • Whose Rules? A feminist approach to play,
  • What Lies Beneath: What games tell us about the rules of the city,
  • Seventh Sense: Games that give you superpowers.

You don’t have to be an established game designer- if you’ve got an idea, we’re interested to hear about it.

IGLAB is supported by Watershed's Pervasive Media Studio, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England.

Project blog

Studio themes