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. Jan. 22, 2020Introducing the Games and Narrative reading group

    The interdisciplinary Games and Narrative reading group is a newly launched initiative, imagined by Dr. Ken Hirschkop, Professor of English Language and Literature. With Dr. Hirschkop's guidance, graduate students who join the reading group will explore how the fields of Narrative Theory and Game Studies intersect and inform one another.

  2. Dec. 17, 2019Jessica Thompson receives an ERA to advance research in sound mapping of urban environments

    Jessica Thompson, researcher in Fine Arts and faculty member of the Stratford School and the Games Institute, received an Early Researcher Award (ERA). Provided by the provincial government, an ERA funds researchers and allows them to establish a research team.

  3. Dec. 11, 2019Marcel O'Gorman talks posthumanism on social media ethics panel
    Marcel on Panel
    Professor Marcel O'Gorman, GI faculty member and Director of the Critical Media Lab (CML), was a panelist in the final instalment of the 2019 Waterloo Symposium on Technology & Society, "Team Human: It's time to remake society together as the team we are", hosted by the Balsillie School of International Affairs.
     
    The event opened with a talk by Douglas Rushkoff an
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  1. Jan. 28, 2020Guest Lecture: Classical Studies and Video Games with Prof. Craig Hardiman

    Veni, Vidi, Vici... Domino Pugnam: Classical Studies and Video Games

    Abstract

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  1. Jan. 22, 2020New findings show differences between rational vs. reasonable decision making in economic games

    Wisdom science, an interdisciplinary field of studies that looks at sound judgment and decision making, suggests that people can be guided by rational or reasonable standards when making gaming decisions. How can we better understand the difference between rationality through studying behaviour in socially-oriented games?

  2. Jan. 17, 2020Reflections from an interdisciplinary collision conversation

    NB: This blog article was written by Grace VanDam who worked here as our wonderful Operations Assistant from September-December, 2019

  3. Dec. 18, 2019The story behind the Games Institute Podcast

    As the Research Communications Officer for the Games Institute, I tell stories about our research for interdisciplinary and non-academic audiences. I often meet with researchers and conduct semi-structured interviews with them so that I can learn enough about what they’re doing in order to write articles about their work. In these articles I can be flexible with how I communicate the research and employ knowledge translation strategies so they can be understood by many.

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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

Michael Barnett Cowan

Michael Barnett-Cowan

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Michael Barnett-Cowan is an Associate Professor for the Kinesiology Department, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, at the University of Waterloo.

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