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. Dec. 4, 2019Dr. Neil Randall reappointed to serve as GI Executive Director for another five-year term

    It is our great pleasure to formally announce that Dr. Neil Randall has been reappointed to serve as GI Executive Director for another five-year term.

    Neil’s reappointment follows a period of exciting changes at the GI which has seen an Arts-based centre graduate to one of eight university-level multidisciplinary centres and institutes.

    To start his new term, Neil (along with the rest of our members) will be busy with GI’s five-year review and renewal by the Senate coming up in 2020.

  2. Dec. 3, 2019Games Institute members at CHI Play, 2019

    Games Institute members Dr. Lennart Nacke, Dr. Jim Wallace, Karina Arrambide, and former members Katta Spiel, Katja Rogers, Elisa Mekler, and Stuart Hallifax attended the CHI PLAY 2019 conference in Barcelona, Spain.

  3. Nov. 28, 2019Multidisciplinary Horror Games Panel: Five Nights at Freddy's

    On October 31st, The Games Institute held a multidisciplinary horror game themed panel, focusing on the critically acclaimed Five Nights at Freddy's (FNAF) franchise.

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  1. Dec. 10, 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!

  2. Dec. 11, 2019Weekly Writing Circle
    Weekly Writing Circle Banner

  3. Dec. 12, 2019Intellectual Property Series: Trademarks

    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, Michael Crinson (Aitken Klee LLP)

    Did you know that the top five most valuable brands in the world in 2018 are all technology companies?

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  1. Nov. 25, 2019Spotlight on Dr. Jason Lajoie's PhD research, "Technologies of Identity: A Queer Media Archaeology"

    Dr. Jason Lajoie, GI member and Researcher at the Critical Media Lab, successfully defended his PhD dissertation November 20th, 2019. His research investigated the ways that media and technologies construct queer identities, and how queer uses of media and technologies contribute to ways of experiencing and expressing queer.

  2. Nov. 21, 2019Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (DOHR) launches pilot in Nova Scotia schools
    DOHR Banner with logo

    The Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (DOHR) Project was featured by the Canadian Press (and covered by over 80 news outlets) in an article that discussed the launch of its pilot project in Nova Scotia schools. DOHR, a restorative justice project led by Principal Investigator Dr.

  3. 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.

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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

Ian Milligan

Ian Milligan

Associate Professor, Department of History

Ian Milligan is a digital and Canadian historian. He’s currently exploring how historians can fruitfully use web archives and other large digital repositories. 

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