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. Sep. 19, 2019Lennart Nacke co-organizes the Fluxible Education Summit

    Dr. Lennart Nacke, Associate Professor and Director of the HCI Games Group, alongside the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, is co-organizing the Fluxible Education Summit (click here for more information on the summit).

  2. Sep. 10, 2019Michael Barnett-Cowan talking VR in the Globe and Mail

    Dr. Michael Barnett-Cowan, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Multisensory Brain and Cognition lab, discussed the progression of virtual and augmented reality (VR, AR) technology and their real world application in an article in the Globe and Mail.

  3. Aug. 26, 2019Chris Lawrence published in Unwinnable discussing queerness in Mortal Kombat

    Chris Lawrence, PhD candidate in English and Editor-in-Chief at First Person Scholar, published an article in Unwinnable about Mortal Kombat characters Scorpion and Sub-Zero.

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  1. Sep. 24, 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. Sep. 25, 2019Weekly Writing Circle
    Weekly Writing Circle Banner

  3. Sep. 26 to 29, 2019Save the Date! Fall 2019 GI Jam

    Save these dates for the Fall 2019 GI Jam: Sept. 26th - Sept. 29th! 

    September 26th is scheduled for the LEARN event; September 27-29 is the MAKE event.

    Mark your calendars for this multidisciplinary game design and development weekend-long event! More details to follow...

All upcoming events
  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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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!


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

Vic Diciccio

Vic Diciccio

Research Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Professor DiCiccio helped found the Institute for Computer Research (ICR).

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