Welcome to the Games Institute

The 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).

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. Nov. 19, 2019Dr. Stan Ruecker Presents: Transformational Interdisciplinary Research

    Watch Dr. Stan Ruecker's talk below

  2. Nov. 15, 2019Dr. Deltcho Valtchanov Presented at the VI/AIP Seminar

    Dr. Deltcho Valtchanov, GI alumni and Chief Research and Data Scientist at Axonify, presented "Commercializing AI for Workforce Training: a data first and purpose-built approach" on Friday, November 8th at the VI/AIP Seminar. He presented on how Axonify has been able to successfully deploy and commercialize a variety of machine learning systems.

  3. Nov. 12, 2019Nicholas Hobin at SLSA 2019

    Nicholas Hobin, PhD candidate in English Language Literature, will be presenting at SLSA 2019 in Irvine, California, an annual conference focused on intersections between Literature, Science, and Art.

    Hobin presented research from his most recent paper "The Creature is Ready", which focuses on the representation of animals in the game Red Dead Redemption 2 with respect to the unusual embodiment of animals.

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  1. Nov. 20, 2019Weekly Writing Circle
    Weekly Writing Circle Banner

  2. Nov. 21, 2019Intellectual Property Series: Copyright and Software

    This event open to all UW faculty, staff, students and post docs. Registration is required for this event to ensure there is enough Pizza and Pop for all!

    Speakers: Eric Luvisotto (WatCo), Michael Crinson (Aitken Klee LLP), Lauren Byl (Library)

    Did you know that software code is protected by Copyright?

    Have you paid someone to write code for you?

    If so did you ask them to waive their Moral rights to the code?

  3. Nov. 26, 2019Feminists Do Media Tuesday Tea

    Join qcollaborative, an Intersectional Feminist Design Research Lab, in the Collaboration Space every Tuesday from 12-1 for a drop-in event to talk feminism and media from multidiscplinary perspectives. Bring your own mugs, tea, and lunch.

    All disciplines are welcome!

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  1. Aug. 27, 2019Inside the Research Process: Iterative Brainstorming for VR Exergames
    Group of people listening to John Munoz discuss VR Exergames

    The Intelligent Technologies for Wellness and Independent Living (ITWIL) Lab develops interactive systems that provide rehabilitative support for aging populations. ITWIL researchers created virtual reality (VR) Exergames in collaboration with physical and occupational therapists from Schlegel Villages in Waterloo to be used by people living with dementia in long-term care homes.

  2. July 23, 2019Congratulations Dr. Gustavo Tondello!

    GI member Gustavo Tondello successfully defended his PhD entitled "Dynamic Personalization of Gameful Interactive Systems". Congratulations Dr. Tondello!

    Tondello's research builds on what we know about gamification—the application of game elements in non-gaming contexts. He explores how user qualities can shape their gameful experience, how developers and designers are currently gamifying systems, and whether this can be improved.

  3. July 9, 2019Recap: WCT Panel on Ethics and AI, featuring Dr. Neil Randall

    On Tuesday, June 25th the GI's Executive Director and Chair of the UWaterloo Ethics Technology and Social Impact (ETSI) Council, Dr. Neil Randall, was part of the panel "Wo(man) and machine—who makes the decisions and why?" discussing the ethics and future of artificial intelligence (AI).

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First Person Scholar

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


GI Jam

Game Jam Fall 2016 logoA 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 Dev Club

controller imageEvery Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-9pm at the GI.

This is your opportunity to meet and collaborate with local game developers in a casual atmosphere.

Show off your latest projects, receive valuable play-testing feedback from like-minded peers, learn new tools and techniques, and network with potential collaborators.

Meet our people

Kevin Harrigan

Kevin Harrigan

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Kevin Harrigan is a member of the University of Waterloo's Canadian Centre for Arts and Technology (CCAT). He teaches courses in multimedia and computer-game design in the Digital Arts Communication (DAC) program, and has been a technical expert witness in legal cases regarding Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs).

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