Foucault’s Heterotopias as Play Spaces


  • Tim Hutchings
  • Jason Giardino



role-playing games, Foucault, Just a Little Lovin'


In larp and role-playing, players often have experiences of being in another space that is beyond just having a strong imagination. Michel Foucault (1986) was one of the first philosophers to seriously examine the substance of this “otherness” of certain spaces in a society, which he called “heterotopias,” and this paper seeks to examine how the concept of heterotopias can provide both game designers and players with a valuable toolset in thinking about play spaces. We will begin by summarizing Foucault’s six principles of heterotopias, exploring what might make a given play space a heterotopia, and finally reflect on the dangerous waters about heterotopias that require sensitivity and respect from game designers and players.




How to Cite

Hutchings, T., & Giardino, J. (2016). Foucault’s Heterotopias as Play Spaces. International Journal of Role-Playing, (7), 10–14.