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Welcome to the Games Institute

The Games Institute (GI) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Waterloo, advancing the study of games, gamification, interactive technologies and immersive environments (AR/VR).

Racial Equity Board Game Design Resources

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Please also refer to the list of Anti-Racism Resources from the Equity Office at the University of Waterloo.

News Items

Our members are busy people; whether they’re taking their research to conferences, delivering keynote addresses, or running workshops at museums, we bring you the news to keep you informed on the latest research and activities.

Research Spotlights Blog

Every story offers an insider’s look into the Games Institute. How does brainstorming lead to new research directions? What really happens at the GI Game Jams? How does play-testing drive better game design? All this and more.

  1. July 20, 2021Dr. Lennart Nacke receives CIHR funding for EXERGETIC: a gameful exercise project for physical and cognitive training
  2. June 30, 2021Spreading Virtual Jam: Highlights from the S21 Game Jam

    From June 23rd to 27th, 2021, the Games Institute (GI) held its third virtual GI Game Jam event. Run independently from the Global Game Jam, the Spring’s 2021 GI Jam brought in 26 participants for a total of 8 teams and 8 games presented on the final day. Alongside the participants themselves, the Jam organizers welcomed exploring new ways to facilitate discussions, voting, and celebration of submissions.

  3. June 18, 2021GI Successfully Launches International Conference on Games and Narrative Series

    On June 12-16, 2021, the Games Institute (GI) held its inaugural International Conference on Games and Narrative. This 5-day conference welcomed participants and speakers from 47 universities, 28 of which were from outside of North America, some as far as Australia and South East Asia. Presentations included scholars at the forefront of games studies and offered a diversity of ideas and engaging discussions with keynote speakers, including Dr. Elizabeth LaPensée, Dr. Souvik Mukherjee, Dr. Clara Fernández-Vara, Dr. Jan-Noel Thön, Dr. Astrid Ensslin, and Dr. Kishonna Gray.

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  1. Feb. 18, 2021CRIT Council's Pallavi Sodhi presents "Inclusive Board Game Design"

    Pallavi Sodhi, Research Intern for the Council for Responsible Innovation and Technology (CRIT) and Dr. Jason Lajoie, Research Associate for CRIT, gave a guest lecture about inclusive board game design for students at Branksome Hall in Toronto.

  2. Jan. 15, 2021 "My avatar – my self?": Mitchell Loewen's thesis published in Frontiers in Psychology

    Do our self-perceptions influence our preferences when designing avatars in the games we play? GI members Mitchell Loewen and Dr. Lennart E. Nacke, with Dr. Christopher Burris of St. Jerome’s University, co-authored a paper about the psychology of preferences toward game avatar styles.

  3. Dec. 9, 2020Research during COVID-19: VR Exergames for Older Adults Living with Dementia, ft. John Muñoz
    Rowing with dolphin

    The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the research landscape. In this series, we explore how our community is navigating their daily lives and innovating to adapt their research and collaboration techniques.

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IMMERSe Network

Meet our people

Ian Milligan

Ian Milligan

Associate Professor, Department of History

Ian Milligan is a digital and Canadian historian. He’s currently exploring how historians can fruitfully use web archives and other large digital repositories. 

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