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Attention: The Games Institute website is under renovation. 

Welcome to the Games Institute!

The University of Waterloo’s 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).

Our Projects

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


allergies and allegories

kitchen table

places please


reading garden

quantum cats

above water


rival books

rival books of aster

hustle and flow


Major Events

The GI Jam is 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


controller image

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


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. Sep. 25, 2018Brown Bag Talk: Jonathan Rodriguez on VR film making

    Games Institute alumnus Jonathan Rodriguez joined us September 21 to give a Brown Bag talk on working in the VR film industry. Rodriguez has been working at Felix & Paul studios, a VR film making start-up based in Montreal, since 2017. In this talk, Jonathan discussed his role as a software developer in a creative industry.

  2. Sep. 24, 2018VR Storytelling Workshop with Gada Jane and SpiderWebShow PerformanceImage captured by Michael Wheeler

    Gada Jane, Research Associate at the GI, hosted a VR storytelling workshop in partnership with Michael Wheeler, Artistic Director at SpiderWebShow Performance. The two-day workshop took place Sept 14-15.

    Jane and Wheeler invited playwrights and actors from the GTA and KW regions to learn about VR and develop strategies for using the medium to tell stories. Participants entered the workshop with little-to-no experience with VR and by the time they left they had produced their own VR performance.

  3. Sep. 19, 2018Robert Gauthier to give a GRADTalk on Social Networks

    GI resident Robert Gauthier will be giving a GRADtalk about social networks on September 27 in Needles Hall. Robert is a PhD candidate for Public Health and Health Systems. His research contributes to the fields of HCI and public health because he investigates how online communities support sensitive issues such as addiction

Read all news
  1. Sep. 27, 2018Guest Lecture: Dr. Lewis Chuang

    Evaluating human-machine interactions for `cognitive load’ without interrupting behavior

    Dr. Lewis Chuang

    Dept. for Human-Centered Ubiquitous Media, Institute for Informatics, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Germany


All upcoming events

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Meet our people

Isabel Pedersen

Isabel Pedersen*

Associate Professor, Communication Studies, UOIT

Dr. Isabel Pedersen, Director of the Decimal Lab at UOIT and Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture, studies the societal impact of human-computer interaction.

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