The Games Institute conducts research into the past, present, and future of games. Our researchers span the breadth of related disciplines, from the humanities and social sciences through engineering and computer science. With a research network joining multiple universities and multiple industry partners, we explore the human side of games and game-related technologies and interactions, with the constant goal of understanding the compelling user engagement that games deliver in fields ranging from entertainment, education, health, and business.
Our mission is to advance research and knowledge in game-related interactions and technologies. By doing so, we aim to establish strong academic and academic-industry research projects and programs, establish a richly cross-disciplinary graduate teaching and research institution, develop commercialisation projects with industry partners, strengthen community ties, encourage student engagement, and enhance educational and employment opportunities for students. We define "games" as broadly encompassing video and computer games (including online games), social games, mobile games, educational and serious games, simulations and virtual worlds, more traditional non-digital games, board games and gambling games. The Institute's focus lies with the future of game-related and game-driven design and development across a range of current and upcoming technologies and markets, and will seek national and international partnerships in the fields of games and games-related simulations for medical, informational, entertainment and educational media.
- Become a central hub for games-related research in Canada and a key partner in the international games research initiative though building relationships with Canadian and international institutions and creating a large network of associated researchers
- Establish strong academic and industry research projects and programs
- Collaborate with industry partners on the development of commercialisation projects, community/student outreach events, conferences and conventions
- Establish an innovative, cross-disciplinary graduate teaching and research institution
- Obtain funding for research fellows, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and artists/designers/developers in residence
- Encourage student, faculty, and public engagement by organizing interactive games-related exhibitions on campus, hosting a regular conference and a speaker series, and founding a games research journal
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does the Games Institute do?
From the humanities and social sciences through engineering and computer science, we look into the past, present, and future of games. With partners from other universities, the games industry, media companies, and non-profit organizations, we explore the growing importance of games and game-like interactions for entertainment, education, health, and business.
Q: What kinds of games do we work on?
Any games! Especially video, computer and online games, social games, mobile games, educational and serious games, simulations and virtual worlds, board games and gambling games.
Q: Who do we work with?
Academic partners to conduct in-depth study of games, industry partners who want to use games for training purposes, health institutions who use games for health and rehabilitation, cultural institutions who use games to encourage participation and connect with audiences, and more.
Q: What can you do with us?
Learn about game studies and game technologies, design and test games, create gamification for user engagement.
Q: What do we have on the go?
Some featured projects include:
- Games Institute Janes explore problems surrounding gender and gaming.
- First Person Scholar sits midway between game journalism and academic scholarship in the study and discussion of games.
- Other projects include design and study of games, writing stories for games, developing game technologies, and studying game interactions and player immersion.
See a more comprehensive list of the Games Institute's projects.
Q: What do you have to study to join us?
If you are interested in games, you can contribute regardless of your field of study. We work with students from the humanities and social sciences, engineering, computer science, fine arts, applied health sciences and others.
Q: How can you contribute?
Center your graduate work on a games-related topic, consider focusing your 4th year student Capstone Design project on games-related technology, become a GI co-op student, come with your questions to our talks and lectures, participate in our game design jams, come to our game play events, or volunteer!
Send us an email to ask us how to get started.