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. Apr. 13, 2018Stitch Media Game developed in partnership with GI reserachers part of Project ZanzibarRival Books of Aster logo

    Rival Books of Aster, a game developed by Stitch Media in collaboration with Games Institute researchers Adam Bradley (English) and Jonathan Rodriguez (Computer Science), has been selected to work with one of the earliest prototypes of Project Zanzibar revealed

  2. Mar. 16, 2018Using Virtual Reality To Help Older Adults

    As a Master’s candidate in Systems Design Engineering, and researcher at the Games Institute, Mahzar Eisapour teamed up with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and exercise therapist Laura Domenicucci to design an alternate world for people with dementia.

  3. Jan. 31, 2018The Games Institute Exhibit at THEMUSEUMINTERPLAY Exhibit Title Wall at THEMUSEUM

    The exhibit “INTERPLAY: Thinking Through Games” launches at THEMUSEUM on Friday, January 26, 2018-Thursday, May 10, 2018.

Read all news
  1. Aug. 17, 2018Guest Lecture: John Muñoz, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, PortugalJohn Munoz Photo

    The Games Institute is coordinating with the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology at the University of Waterloo to host a guest lecture by John Muñoz from the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute in Portugal on Friday, August 17th 2018

    Register for this event on Eventbrite. Registration is required to attend. 

All upcoming events

IMMERSe Network

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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!

Meet our people

Isabel Pedersen

Isabel Pedersen*

Associate Professor, Communication Studies, UOIT

Dr. Isabel Pedersen, Director of the Decimal Lab at UOIT and Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture, studies the societal impact of human-computer interaction.

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