Mathias Fuchs
ifk Senior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. March 2022 bis 30. June 2022

Playful Work. Playbour


In recent years – and at an accelerated pace during the Covid‑19 pandemic – work and work environments have undergone dramatic changes. The formerly accepted distinction of serious work and non-serious play is challenged by what Julian Kücklich (2005) calls »playbour«. We can currently see different forms of playful work, laborious play, »ludictatorship« (Escribano 2012), or »work/play interferences« (Fizek/Dippel 2018) emerging. This project explores the IFK’s research focus on »different work« vis-à-vis a revisited concept of different play. It investigates how playfulness is enabled, suggested, or instrumentalized in workspaces such as: (1) corporate offices (Google, Facebook); (2) team workspaces of start-ups; (3) home-office (non-)design; and (4) virtual offices on platforms including Zoom, Skype, etc. The research is informed by an analysis of the ideology underlying the promise of playful work, as well as by a review of games and play in a post-industrial scenario.


Mathias Fuchs is a game artist, musician, and media scholar. He pioneered the artistic use of computer games and has exhibited work at ISEA, SIGGRAPH, transmediale, and the Greenwich Millennium Dome. In 2012 he became a professor at Leuphana University in Lüneburg and currently works at the Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Media.


Phantasmal Spaces. Archetypical Venues in Computer Games (Monografie), New York 2020; Hg. gem. mit Sonia Fizek, Paolo Ruffino und Niklas Schrape, Rethinking Gamification; darin Autorenbeitrag »Predigital Precursors of Gamification«, S. 119–140, Lüneburg, 2014; »Gamification as 21st Century ›deology‹«, in: Jennifer Dewinter und Carly A. Kocurek (Hg.), Gamification and Labour Politics. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds 6.2, S. 143–157, London 2014; »Weltentzug und Weltzerfall (World-withdrawal and world-decay): Heidegger’s notions of withdrawal from the world and the decay of worlds in the times of computer games«, in: Malcolm MacLean, Wendy Russell und Emmily Ryall (Hg.), Philosophical Perspectives on Play, London 2015; Hg. gem. mit Ernst StrouhalPassagen des Spiels II. Das Spiel und seine Grenzen; darin Autorenbeitrag »Fair Enough! Über Spielverderber und Falschspieler«, S. 173–188, Wien, New York, 2010.

Neuerscheinung: Digital Culture & Society (DCS)

This double issue of Digital Culture & Society addresses the complex thematic field of the dialectics of play and labour. The journal takes a closer look at the problem of play and work from two overlapping, albeit not mutually exclusive, perspectives: laborious play and playful work.

Digital Culture & Society (DCS)

Vol. 7, Issue 1/2021 – Laborious Play and Playful Work II


SUBOTRON Interactive Heritage: Game Studies

SUBOTRON Interactive Heritage: Game Studies: From Theory to Experience: What would Freud's Avator do?

Presentations and Panel


Tracy Fullerton (Professor and Founding Director (emeritus) USC Games program, LA)

Ian Bogost (Professor and Director of the Program in Film & Media Studies at Washington University)

on site:

Mathias Fuchs (Game Artist, Musician, Media Scholar)

Eugen Pfister (Historian and Political Scientist)

Flavia Mazzanti (Artist, Architect, Researcher)

Moderation: Konstantin Mitgutsch (Playful Solutions)



Game Studies: From Theory to Experience

SUBOTRON Interactive Heritage
Game Studies: From Theory to Experience   
Location: MuseumsQuartier / Q21 / Raum D, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna
Stream: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88263038070  Password: freud22

04 April 2022
  • Lecture
Mathias Fuchs


The design — or lack thereof — of traditional offices and contemporary team and home workspaces demonstrates a history of representation, power, and ideological pretension.