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. Aug. 6, 2019Dr. Aynur Kadir joins the Games Institute

    The Games Institute is thrilled to welcome a new faculty member to our community, Dr. Aynur Kadir. Dr. Kadir is an incoming Assistant Professor of Digital Media Arts in the department of Communication Arts with plans to advance her research in mobilizing the knowledge and cultures of Indigenous heritages through interactive and immersive technologies.

  2. Aug. 1, 2019Prof. Steven Bednarski Receives SSHRC PG for Medieval History and Climate Change Project
    Dr. Steven Bednarski, GI faculty member and Professor of Medieval History at St. Jerome’s University was recently awarded a multi-million-dollar grant to support an interdisciplinary project that illuminates the relationship between climate and culture in the late Middle Ages.
  3. July 30, 2019Jennifer Whitson weighing in on FaceApp on CBC

    Dr. Jennifer Whitson, GI faculty member, spoke to Ian Bickis, reporting for the Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on July 17 about the viral photo editor FaceApp and the growing concerns about its Terms of Use. Dr. Whitson is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies, and also teaches at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business.

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  1. Sep. 4, 2019Weekly Writing Circle
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  2. Sep. 10, 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!

  3. Sep. 11, 2019Weekly Writing Circle
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All upcoming events
  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. June 28, 2019GI Members at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2019

    Several GI members presented research and spoke on panels at the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Congress) from June 1-7 at the University of British Columbia. Congress is the largest annual academic conference in Canada, providing a venue for over 70 scholarly associations.

    [Congress brings] together academics, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas, and build partnerships that will help shape the Canada of tomorrow.

    - Congress Mission Statement

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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

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson

Associate Professor, Optometry and Vison Science

Ben’s background is in visual neuroscience and his research interests relate to the development and plasticity of human visual brain areas.

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