Welcome to the Games Institute!

Our Projects

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

 
 

 

Major Events

Waterloo Game Jam is a thrice-annual, multi-day event hosted by The Games Institute (GI). Each of these events are open to the public and are designed to appeal to a wide variety of playful people.

Game Jam Fall 2016 logo

 

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Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm-9pm, UW Game Dev Club meets at the GI! 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.

 

What is the importance of play in developing critical thinking and digital literacy skills?

The Games Institute hosted a panel discussion entitled Playful Thinking: A Conversation on Games, Learning, and Literacy on Monday, October 31st from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. This panel of experts, all of which are games scholars, discussed the ways in which games and play in the 21stcentury are implicated by social, political, cultural, and pedagogical components.

If you weren't able to view the livestream, here is a link to the recording of the panel: 

The Games Institute at UWaterloo and Why We Need It

Our very own Neil Randall, Director of The Games Institute has been featured in the UWaterloo Alumni blog. 

The Games Institute officially came into being in June 2011. Those of us who collaborated to put it together, of whom Drs. Karen Collins (Drama & Speech Communications), Stacey Scott (Systems Design Engineering), and I (English) were the first members, decided we needed a formal research centre if we wanted to push the study of games to the forefront, and to make sure that we were engaging all the departments and faculties that we needed to get involved. Games, by their very nature, are multidisciplinary creations, and whenever we discussed what games could become we knew that we needed research and creativity from essentially all disciplines. 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.

Read more about his views on gaming and how he believes games can help us on the Alumni Blog.

Featured Videos

  1. Aug. 3, 2017Persuasive games to change unhealthy habitsRita Orji picture

    The GI’s own Rita Orji is making waves in the area of persuasive computer games, where she works as a computer science researcher. Orji investigates the various areas and components of personality types and how they are depicted in the literature, with the aim to create interactive persuasive computer games that are tailored to a person’s motivational style.

  2. Mar. 14, 2017Dr. Barnett-Cowan's Research Showcased at Ontario Science CentreBiomechanics display

    Biometrics: The Machine Inside exhibit, gives visitors at the Ontario Science Centre a hands-on look at the natural engineering that drives human and animal movement.

  3. Mar. 2, 2017GI Faculty Members Awarded CFI GrantsCFI logo

    Nineteen researchers at the University of Waterloo will receive a total of $1.4 million for infrastructure to support research. The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funds will provide researchers with the research infrastructure necessary to lead in their field.  

    Among those awarded, Games Institute faculty members will receive a total of $165,000.

Read all news
  1. Dec. 14, 2017December Open House at The Games InstituteGI Logo

    The Games Institute invites all University of Waterloo staff and faculty members that are interested in learning more about The Games Institute, as well as games research to The Games Institute Open House on Thursday, December 14th!

    This event is open to University of Waterloo staff and faculty members that have a research interest in games and games-related technology, interactions and implications, or that are interested in learning more about The Games Institute and its current initiatives. Come see our research facilities, learn about our work, and get to know the other grad students and faculty members involved in The Games Institute. Faculty members are encouraged to bring graduate students under their supervision that have games-related research interests.

All upcoming events

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Meet our people

Kevin Harrigan

Kevin Harrigan

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Kevin Harrigan is a member of the University of Waterloo's Canadian Centre for Arts and Technology (CCAT). He teaches courses in multimedia and computer-game design in the Digital Arts Communication (DAC) program, and has been a technical expert witness in legal cases regarding Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs).

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