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. July 15, 2019The Games Institute joined Instagram!

    Follow us on Instagram for play-by-play photo updates on multidisciplinary life at the Games Institute!

    Our handle: @the_games_institute

    Thanks for your support and happy scrolling,

    - The Games Institute Communications team

  2. July 11, 2019GI faculty become faculty advocates for HeForShe

    GI Faculty members Drs. Kristina Llewellyn and Jim Wallace have been selected to be amongst the 10 HeForShe faculty advocates for 2019-2020.

  3. June 28, 2019Critical Media Lab leads Tech for Good Ethos Studio at True North 2019

    Games Institute member Jason Lajoie, English PhD student and researcher at the Critical Media Lab, co-hosted the Tech for Good Ethos Studio with Dr. Marcel O'Gorman, director of the Critical Media Lab, at True North, 2019.

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  1. Sep. 4, 2019Weekly Writing Circle

    Join us in the collaboration space every Wednesday from 10am-12pm to work on your personal writing/research projects. This is a multidisciplinary weekly drop-in event for those who need some extra motivation to write. We'll use the pomodoro technique to work together, separately!\

    All disciplines are welcome!

  2. Sep. 11, 2019Weekly Writing Circle

    Join us in the collaboration space every Wednesday from 10am-12pm to work on your personal writing/research projects. This is a multidisciplinary weekly drop-in event for those who need some extra motivation to write. We'll use the pomodoro technique to work together, separately!\

    All disciplines are welcome!

  3. Sep. 18, 2019Weekly Writing Circle

    Join us in the collaboration space every Wednesday from 10am-12pm to work on your personal writing/research projects. This is a multidisciplinary weekly drop-in event for those who need some extra motivation to write. We'll use the pomodoro technique to work together, separately!\

    All disciplines are welcome!

All upcoming events
  1. 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).

  2. June 17, 2019Marvin Pafla at 2019 Canadian HCI and Graphics Interface Conference

    Marvin Pafla, GI and Collaborative Systems Laboratory (CSL) member and Master’s student in System Design Engineering, presented in this year’s Canadian HCI and Graphics Interface Conference in Kingston, Ontario, May 28-31. His paper “Jumping the Bandwagon: Overcoming Social Barriers to Public Display Use” explores why digital, public displays have low interaction rates.

    Shout out to CSL Director, Stacey Scott, who was invited as a keynote speaker at this year’s conference!

  3. May 1, 2019GI English Students and Faculty at the CML's "Infrastructure at Play" Showcase

    The Critical Media Lab (CRIME Lab), directed by Marcel O'Gorman, hosted a Research Showcase on April 3, 2019 entitled "Infrastructure at Play". At the showcase, GI faculty member Lai-Tze Fan and GI English Graduate student members AC Atienza, Lillian A.

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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

Colin Ellard

Colin Ellard

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Colin Ellard is a psychologist researching neuroscience. ​​His interests include how the organization and appearance of natural and built spaces affects movement, wayfinding, emotion, and physiology. He directs the Urban Realities Lab at the University of Waterloo.

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