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Attention: The Games Institute website is under construction. 

Welcome to the Games Institute!

The University of Waterloo’s Games Institute (GI) is a multidisciplinary research centre at the University of Waterloo focused on the study of games, gamification, interactive technologies and immersive environments (AR/VR).

Our Projects

Weekly critical essays, commentaries, and book reviews on games. 


allergies and allegories

kitchen table

places please


reading garden

quantum cats

above water


rival books

rival books of aster

hustle and flow


Major Events

The GI Jam is a thrice-annual, multi-day event hosted by The Games Institute (GI). Each of the events are open to the public and are designed to appeal to a wide variety of playful people.

Game Jam Fall 2016 logo


controller image

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-9pm, the GI hosts the UW Game Dev Club. This is your opportunity to hang out with local game developers in a more casual atmosphere. Show off your latest projects, receive valuable play-testing feedback from like-minded peers, learn new tools and techniques, and networking with potential collaborators.


The future of games will rely on new technologies and new ways of interacting with those technologies, but it will also rely heavily on psychological and sociological understandings of what we do when we play, on stories and narratives that reach far beyond what today’s games offer, and on extensive work in a wide range of fields, from health to education, into how games can guide us, change us, and help us.


- Dr. Neil Randall, Director of the Games Institute

  1. Sep. 19, 2018Robert Gauthier to give a GRADTalk on Social Networks

    GI resident Robert Gauthier will be giving a GRADtalk about social networks on September 27 in Needles Hall. Robert is a PhD candidate for Public Health and Health Systems. His research contributes to the fields of HCI and public health because he investigates how online communities support sensitive issues such as addiction

  2. Sep. 19, 2018Dr. Lennart Nacke to give a Brown Bag talk at the Communitech Hubimage from

  3. Sep. 12, 2018Shawn Dorey and Sarah Stang: Play-by-post-roleplaying and Queer Identity

    Play-By-Post Roleplaying: Ludic Structures, Creative Play, and Queer Identity

    Shawn Dorey, alumnus of the Games Institute, and Sarah Stang, PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture joint program at York University and Ryerson University, will be presenting their co-authored research at the Queerness and Games Conference in Montreal, September 29-30, 2018. The two plan to explore the connections between play and queer identity development through play-by-post-roleplaying (PBPRP).

Read all news
  1. Sep. 27, 2018Guest Lecture: Dr. Lewis Chuang

    Evaluating human-machine interactions for `cognitive load’ without interrupting behavior

    Dr. Lewis Chuang

    Dept. for Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media, Institute for Informatics, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Germany


All upcoming events

IMMERSe Network

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Participate in Our Research

Subscribe to our Research Participants Mailing List to hear about opportunities to be a study participant in the work done by The Games Institute researchers!

Meet our people

Parmit Chilana

Parmit Chilana

Assistant Professor, Management Sciences

Professor Chilana has disciplinary training in Information Science and Computer Science and has worked on a variety of research projects in HCI.

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