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).

allergies and allegories

kitchen table

places please


reading garden

quantum cats

above water


rival books

rival books of aster

hustle and flow

First Person Scholar

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


GI Jam

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

Game Dev Club

controller image

Every 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.


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. Jan. 31, 2019John Harris at CHI Play 2018

    John Harris, GI resident and Computer Science PhD student, presented a 5 minute short paper at CHI Play 2018 during their "Spotlight on Design Rationale" session. Harris' paper presents his reflections on translating HCI research into concrete game design.

  2. Jan. 24, 2019Virtual Reality (VR) Networking Event full recording now available

    Did you miss the Virtual Reality (VR) and Immersive Reality (IR) Networking Event? Watch the full recording of the speakers now:

  3. Jan. 24, 2019Article by AC Atienza in the Cloudfall Studios blog

    AC Atienza, Master's student in Experimental Digital Media, wrote an article entitled "Viewer Culture and Boardgames" for Cloudfall Interactive Studios. Atienza's research interest involves re-application of design principals from one field to another, such as game design into pedagogy or literary theory into game design. Atienza also works as a designer for Cloudfall Studios.

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  1. Jan. 22, 2019Spotlight on Games Institute members at GRADflix

    Fall 2018, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs launched the first ever GRADflix competition. Graduate students were invited to create a 60-second video, moving slide show, or animation about their research. Entries were judged based on communication, creativity and visual impact, and technical quality.

  2. Jan. 14, 2019Spotlight on the GI members at Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (ISS) 2018

    Several members of the Games Institute and the UW Touchlab participated in the 13th annual ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces & Spaces (ISS) in Tokyo, Japan from November 25-28, 2018. The research they presented ranged from work on multi-touch surfaces and interactive 3D spaces to optimizing how health care providers collect feedback from patients.

  3. Dec. 10, 2018Multidisciplinary Panel: Horizon Zero DawnMultidisciplinary Panel: Horizon Zero Dawn

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Meet our people

Beth Coleman

Beth Coleman

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature

Beth Coleman is co-director of the Critical Media Lab at the University of Waterloo, and participates in the Rhetoric & Professional Writing major as well as the Master of Arts in Experimental Digital Media.

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