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. Nov. 12, 2019D.R.A.G.E.N. Lab Launches Environments of Change SSHRC Partnership

    The Digital Research in Arts and Graphical Environmental Networks (D.R.A.G.E.N.) Lab is a GI-affiliated research hub, directed by Professor of Medieval History and GI member, Dr.

  2. Nov. 1, 2019Oliver Schneider Leads Canadian Haptics Interdisciplinary Workshop

    Oliver Schneider, Assistant Professor in Management Sciences and researcher in HCI and haptics, recently led the Canadian Haptics Interdisciplinary Community Fall Workshop.

  3. Nov. 1, 2019Jenn Rickert at Blizzcon 2019

    Jenn Rickert, English PhD student, will be attending this year's Blizzcon on November 1st as part of her ongoing research on video game cultures and communities.

    Blizzcon is the yearly community celebration event of games from Blizzard Entertainment who gained fame from their critically acclaimed titles such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Overwatch.

Read all news
  1. Nov. 14, 2019Cancelled: Crip Theory and Games Panel

    Unfortunatley the "Crip Theory and Games Panel" has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule this event in the future. Please subscribe to our events mailing list to be notified of all events. 

    We apologize for any inconvinience this may cause. 

  2. Nov. 15, 2019Guest Lecture: "Things We Could Design: in more-than human-centred worlds" with Dr. Ron Wakkary


    This talk engages the idea of posthumanist design. I investigate the potential to see design from the perspective of posthuman subjectivity. By posthuman, I mean thinking about the world as if humans share center stage with non-humans, and that we are all bound together materially, ethically, and existentially. I’m motivated by wanting alternative approaches to the vexing challenges of how we better co-inhabit our world with species and matter that are not human. And how we design technologies that we neither fully understand nor control.

  3. Nov. 19, 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!

All upcoming events
  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).

View all blog posts

IMMERSe Network

Join Our Events Mailing List

Subscribe to our Events Mailing List to hear about all of the exciting things happening at the Games Institute!

Participate in Our Research

Subscribe to our Research Participants Mailing List to hear about opportunities to be a study participant in the work done by The Games Institute researchers!

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

Karen Collins

Karen Collins

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Karen Collins' research is diverse and interdisciplinary, but has always had a central focus: the interaction of humans and machines, specifically as related to sound.

Follow us on twitter!