This paper describes our work on using games as a tool for research in design theory and methods. Games offer a means of isolating certain aspects, or concepts, of designing for purposes of scrutiny. A game provides an environment for a group of players, acting with individual goals and a shared program, to make and transform complex configurations, free of functional requirements. Adjusting game parameters emphasizes different concepts. We have developed nine games that explore a variety of concepts of general interest to those concerned with organizing physical configurations. Beyond these particular concepts, we argue that games are a useful way to couch studies in design theory and methods.