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. Oct. 1, 2019Seamas Weech presents VR Cybersickness research at SIGGRAPH 2019

    GI alum Séamas Weech, postdoc researcher in neuroscience and virtual reality, presented at SIGGRAPH 2019.

  2. Sep. 27, 2019Multidisciplinary Writing Circle launch

    Every Wednesday, the Games Institute hosts a multidisciplinary writing circle. September 11th marked the first installment of the event for the Fall term. This recurring event runs on a casual drop-in/drop-out basis for anyone interested, GI member or not.

  3. Sep. 27, 2019Gustavo presents player trait model at INTERACT, 2019

    Dr. Gustavo F. Tondello, a PhD graduate and instructional support coordinator of Waterloo’s School of Computer Science, as well as co-founder of MotiviUX, presented a paper on the Five Factor Player Traits Model at INTERACT 2019, the IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction.

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  1. Oct. 15, 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!

  2. Oct. 16, 2019Weekly Writing Circle
    Weekly Writing Circle Banner

  3. Oct. 20, 2019technoTampons: Menstrual Hygiene Products as Technologies - a Workshop with Dr. Milena Radzikowska


    An average menstruating individual endures some 456 total periods over 38 years. That's roughly 2,280 days with their period, or 6.25 years of their life. They are likely to use over 16,800 tampons and pads over the course of their lifetime (Weiss-Wolf, 2015). In Canada, menstrual hygiene products are among the top-three material costs of being a menstruating person under the age of 65 (Plan International Canada, 2018). There is growing awareness of, and demand for solutions to, the financial burden of menstruation—in 2014, the United Nations declared menstrual hygiene a public-health, gender-equality, and human rights issue (UN, Office of the High Commissioner, 2014). Beyond affordability and accessibility, periods and their management are linked to shame and dangerous misinformation, leading to serious human rights concerns (United Nations Population Fund, 2018). Through this micro-make, we will encourage our participants to think about the space created by menstruation, design, and technology through a critical, provo-making lens—an ask, we feel, that would be familiar to our siblings working at the Berlin Bauhaus.

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  1. Aug. 27, 2019Inside the Research Process: Iterative Brainstorming for VR Exergames
    Group of people listening to John Munoz discuss VR Exergames

    The Intelligent Technologies for Wellness and Independent Living (ITWIL) Lab develops interactive systems that provide rehabilitative support for aging populations. ITWIL researchers created virtual reality (VR) Exergames in collaboration with physical and occupational therapists from Schlegel Villages in Waterloo to be used by people living with dementia in long-term care homes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

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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

Jim Wallace

Jim Wallace

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Health Systems

Jim Wallace is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo. His research focuses on interaction techniques for computing systems that involve multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and large interactive wall displays, and how these systems can address problems in Public Health.

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