#44Lab: Relationships, Therapy and Play

Tue, April 4, 2pm

Join counsellors and game designers in an exploration of how games can help us think about and experience relationships in new ways – be it with partners, friends, family or colleagues.

In the first part of the session, participants learn about different aspects of relationship therapy with counsellors Helen Broomfield and Gurpreet Singh from relationship support charity, Relate. This is followed by an online conversation with designer Steve Tam, who partnered with psychotherapist Esther Perel on her game Where Should We Begin – A Game of Stories.

Participants then dive into active play mode and try out two experimental games about relationships: Chloe Mashiter’s The Real Lesson of Romeo and Juliet is a Relationship Will Never Last Without Good Communication is a two-player letter-writing larp about internal and external obstacles to expressing love. Matteo Menapace’s Coople is a cooperative card game about playfully exploring the boundaries of relationships.

In the final part of the session, participants split into groups to brainstorm and discuss new ideas for experiments in the space between relationships, therapy and play.

Tuesday, April 4, 2-6pm

This is a free event. Please be in Lancaster Room at the beginning of the session to take part.

Recommended for ages 16 and over.

No experience making games or playful art is expected.


Relate is the largest provider of relationship support in England and Wales. We help millions of people every year to strengthen the relationships that mean the most to them. Our services include relationship counselling for individuals and couples, family counselling, counselling for children and young people, and sex therapy. https://www.relate.org.uk


Steve Tam was the VP of Marketing & Brand at Snips.ai (acquired by Sonos) and cofounder of Simcoe Bicycles (acquired by Hawley Lambert.) He’s an LP at The Fund NYC and hosts one hell of a dance party. https://stevetam.com

Chloe Mashiter is a theatre- and game-maker working across interactive performance, tabletop role-playing games, mega-games, ARGs and larps. Chloe’s other recent larps include recurring fantasy tavern The Shield & Torch and Teletext-based horror Transmission. http://rollflipdraw.co.uk

Matteo Menapace designs cooperative games and facilitates playful workshops for people to engage with real-world challenges. Previously games designer in residence at the V&A in London, he is currently co-designing Daybreak, a board game about tackling climate breakdown at a global scale. https://ma.tteo.me