Supporting the playful arts, in Australia and internationally



APILI works towards a world where play and the playful arts are as respected, studied, recorded and archived as other forms of creativity, and their full potential to bring out the best in humanity is recognised, explored and developed throughout the culture, education, health, and self-directed learning sectors.


The Australian Play, Imagination & Learning Institute (APILI) exists to support and explore the art of play in all its forms, from the ancient to the cutting-edge:

  • alternative and/or augmented reality games,
  • classic board and card games, creative rulesets,
  • educational exercises, eSports, exergames,
  • freefloating imaginative play, interactive fiction, multimedia artforms,
  • playful performative experiences, playground equipment, puzzles,
  • roleplaying games, shared-world fiction (and game) settings,
  • simulations/serious games/games with a purpose,
  • social games, tabletop games,
  • toys, unstructured (and structured) childhood play,
  • videogames, virtual worlds,
    …and more.


Currently in development, APILI is an organisation – and eventually a physical institute hosting relevant collections, facilities and programs – that will be to games and other play-based activities something like what the National Library of Australia is to the written word, ACMI is to the moving image, the AIS is to sport, and the National Gallery is to the visual arts.

Its planned functions include:

  • collecting, recording, and archiving playful works and technologies, plus materials relevant to the creative process such as design documents and working notes;
  • facilitating scholarship in play and games;
  • supporting Australian excellence, in play and conduct, in international competition or other public play;
  • developing and promoting meaningful taxonomies of games based not only on thematic genres but on mechanical, psychological, and other dimensions of the work;
  • providing resources and training to schools and libraries to support both exploration of games and play in and of themselves, and the use of games and play to achieve other cultural, social, and educational goals;
  • running exhibits and events that showcase the Institute’s collections, the state of the playful arts from Australia and around the world, and cutting-edge upcoming play designs;
  • offering spaces and facilities that enable the public to pursue their own interests in play, whether as individuals, small groups, or large gatherings;
  • supporting and honouring the creators of games and playful works;
  • housing facilities and equipment (such as 2D and 3D printing) suitable for prototyping of games and, with the appropriate permissions, restoration/replenishment of archival items;
  • acting as a central clearinghouse for various professional and public bodies dedicated to games and play;
  • fostering systems literacy, psychological literacy (including “theory of mind”), procedural literacy, strategic thinking, social connectedness, sociological literacy, physical and mental health, and other forms of social good through games;
  • other activities that enable and promote intelligent, informed, critical, and joyful engagement with games and play.

Legal information

The Australian Play, Imagination & Learning Institute is the brainchild of its Founder, Philip Minchin. It is an incorporated entity (ACN 600 253 852) now working towards establishing full Deductible Gift Recipient status.

If you are interested to learn more, please contact us.