Kent Aardse was a PhD Candidate in English Department at the University of Waterloo and a research assistant for The Games Institute. His research focuses on humans as fundamentally technological beings, paying particular attention to the intersection between digital technology and literature.
Through an activity theory approach, Sultan's focus was to understand urban search & rescue teams' activity and training to design game mechanics and interfaces in simulation games. The aim of this simulation game was to improve urban search & rescue teams' sensemaking and planning skills. Sultan was involved in multiple research areas of HCI including: mixed reality games, serious games, augmented and virtual reality games, gesture based interaction games, and idle games.
Karina is a Ph.D. student pursuing a degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke. She holds an MSc in Information Technology with Business and Management from the University of Sussex in the UK, and a BSc in Information Technology from the University of Monterrey in Mexico. Her main interests include understanding player's behaviors and emotions by applying diverse games user research methodologies, specifically biometrics such as electromyography and galvanic skin response.
Maria is a Media Informatics student from Ulm University, Germany. Besides her studies, she is interested in researching the effects of non-player character design on players. As a visiting student, her goal is to develop her skills by working with experienced researchers.
Kasandra Arthur, HBA (Lakehead University) and MA (Lakehead University), both with a specialization in Women's Studies. Kasandra studies young adult literature, particularly the processes in which these texts are adapted to film.
Guillaume Besacier was a post-doctoral fellow in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). During his Ph.D. at the Université Paris-Sud (France), supervised by Michel Beaudouin-Lafon and Frédéric Vernier, he worked with interactive tabletop computers and designed new interaction techniques to use a tabletop more effectively and easily, while being compatible with existing WIMP interfaces.
Alice is doing her Masters in Sustainability Management. Her thesis aims to answer whether gamification can engage employees to advance corporate social responsibility.
Megha Bhatt was the Winter 2014 co-op student and worked as a research programmer and communications assistant for The Games Institute. During her term she helped with various projects using different software for web designing and gaming needs.
Natalee was a Master's student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo.
Kai is doing his Master's in Computer Science at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg (Germany). There he focuses on realtime applications, visualization, AR/VR and game development. He's also a member of Acagamics, a students game developer club and a research assistant at STIMULATE where he develops medical technology applications.
Lauren Burr is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Waterloo studying locative media, augmented/alternate/hybrid realities, and pervasive games. Lauren’s recent collaborative projects include Bonfire of the Humanities, an alternate reality game designed for Congress 2012; Cytopath, an augmented reality necromedia game set in downtown Kitchener; and House of Lexia, a locative hypertext remediation of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves.
Nathan was an undergraduate Nanotechnology Engineering student. He helped run the Game Development Club (GDC), and is working to develop his first tabletop game, Humanity.
Betty Chang received her PhD from the department of Systems Design Engineering in the area of human-computer interaction and human factors. Her PhD work sought to improve users’ awareness of each other and of the situation when they collaborate over computer systems. She studied different technologies such as digital tabletops and multi-device environments, in various contexts including police emergency response, strategic board games, and classrooms.
PhD candidate from the Systems Design Engineering department at the University of Waterloo. He received his MPhil in Computer Science, B(Eng) in Computer Science Information Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Jay was a fifth year Computer Science undergraduate student. He is passionate about game design and creation, and worked at the Games Institute as a developer during the Winter 2014 and Summer 2015 co-op terms.
Ryan Clement (MA York University, BA Brandon University) was an English PhD candidate who studies the relationship between emergent narrative and game mechanics and the possible use of this interaction for new forms of education and intercultural communication.
Brian graduated in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design Dublin in 2000 where his interests included video and sound installation. He received an M.Phil in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin in 2004 focusing on audio-visual composition.
Mufaddal was a 2B Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo, who joined the GI team to work as a Research Assistant co-op student.
Born in Tehran-Iran, as a painter and digital artist, Shadi started painting professionally in 2004. Earlier on, she used to take photos, manipulate them using computer and paint them on the canvas. Later in her career, she stopped painting on canvas and stopped using human figures in her paintings and instead, started to work with objects. She likes to show women in her digital and analog artworks to highlight the problems they are confronted with in society.
Shawn DeSouza-Coelho is a writer, scholar, and award-winning actor based in Toronto. He holds a BA (Dramatic Arts) and MA (English) from the University of Waterloo, the latter of which allowed him to explore the intersections between narrative and interaction design, particularly in video games. His second book, Whenever You’re Ready (May 2018, ECW Press) details the life and career of Nora Polley (currently the Stratford Festival’s longest serving employee at 54 years) and is the first biography of a stage manager ever published. Believing that every story possesses an ideal medium, Shawn is currently writing and illustrating his third book, 90 Days, which is a graphic novel centering on recovery from sex and pornography addiction. Shawn has also authored and co-authored numerous scholarly publications over the years and is currently Research Advisor at the Games Institute at the University of Waterloo.
Shawn Dorey is a student in the Masters of Arts - Experimental Digital Media program inside of U Waterloo's English department. Coming from the University of New Brunswick, they graduated with a First Class designation for their Honours Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Cultures.
Judy Ehrentraut is a PhD candidate researching the creation of posthuman bodies in virtual and augmented realities through technological embodiment. Her dissertation examines how VR and AR expand notions of presence through mobile smartphones and heads-up displays that physically and cognitively extend the boundaries of the body. She is a research associate at the University of Waterloo's Critical Media Lab and a resident of the Games Institute. As part of the IMMERSe network, her ongoing work involves the multimodal and interactive components of VR and AR immersion in video games.
Mahzar was a master's student in the Systems Design Engineering department. She previously earned her bachelor's degree in Software Engineering.
Her research focuses on the design and development of virtual reality exergames to promote physical activity for people living with dementia.
Will is a PhD candidate who studies modern videogame-based iterations of Victorian England. He is interested in better understanding historical games' abilities to productively revise and recreate elements of the past. His current research investigates the representation of women in neo-Victorian games and their basis in the fiction of the nineteenth century.
Anda is a graduate from the Global Business and Digital Arts program at the University of Waterloo and is currently studying animation at Seneca College. With more than four years experience as a digital freelance artist, Anda is proficient in all applications within the Adobe Suite. Anda seeks to find ways to intersect their background in games, animation, and user experience design.
Mitchell Loewen was a 4th year Knowledge Integration and Psychology Joint Honours student with a Collaborative Design Specialization at the University of Waterloo. Under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Chris Burris, Mitchell was working on his undergraduate Psychology thesis investigating the relationship between the self and avatar creation norms in video games. Mitchell is also very passionate about game design, and is currently working with some fellow undergraduate students to publish a game they designed during Dr. Nacke’s Introduction to Game Design course.
Marim joined the Games institute as UX designer and research assistant. She recently completed her Masters in Digital Experience Innovation program at the University of Waterloo. With her skills in design and background in science, she is passionate about understanding people’s behaviour then crafting products and experiences that delight and empower them. She worked under the supervision of Dr. Nacke on various projects where she helped create intuitive solutions to complex problems. Her area of interest is in human centric design, interaction and motion design.
John Harris is a PhD student in Computer Science (BAsc. Mechatronics Engineering, UWaterloo; MSc Computer Science, UCalgary). His research focuses on the design and development of Strong Asymmetry in games as a means of promoting inclusiveness and getting more kinds of people playing together.
Jason Hawreliak received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Waterloo. His research examines rhetorics of heroism and immortality in videogames. Other research interests include multimodal rhetoric and the psychological function of digital media.
Jennie Heo recently completed her Master of Digital Experience Innovation program at the University of Waterloo. With her background in BA English and M.Ed in Applied Psychology & Human Development, she is passionate about conducting user research throughout the end-to-end process of delivering human-centric products through storytelling.
Saifuddin Hitawala is a Masters student at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. His research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, database systems, network security and data structures and algorithms.
Alexander Hodge is an audio engineer, creative technologist, and freelance software developer. He is interested in music technology in general, and especially in the way sound can influence Human-Computer Interaction.
Kaitlyn Holbein was a part-time Rhetoric and Communication Design MA student and full-time communications and marketing professional. She received her BA in English literature, with a minor in Sociology, from Carleton University. Kaitlyn enjoys exploring a wide range of topics in the fields of new media and game studies.
Ian was an undergraduate student in his final year of Computer Engineering. As both a gamer and a filmmaker, Ian enjoys figuring out how each discipline can draw from the other to produce better media.
Wan Hong Situ is the CTO of Invuze. He is responsible for developing the platform and leading the implementation of the applications. He was a fourth year Honours Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo. Wan Hong Situ has extensive experienced in web and mobile development utilizing multiple frameworks.
Mahir Hoque was an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Computer Science and Digital Art Communication. He is interested in art, design, technology and the fusion of these disciplines.
Kelly was in the process of finishing her undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, with a minor in Theatre & Performance.
Ruby was working at the GI as the Project Coordinator for her Fall 2015 co-op term. Now entering into her third year of Honours Arts and Business at the University of Waterloo, she is pursuing a major in Psychology with minors in Human Resources Management and Digital Arts Communication.
Arda is a fourth year Liberal Arts student with a passion for design in digital media. He is currently in pursuit of videography as his specialization going forward.
Wilson Kwong was a co-op student for The Games Institute for fall term 2013. He is enrolled in the Recreation and Sports Business program with a minor in Computer Science and Human Resource Management. He likes to spend his free time playing video games, especially sports games (FIFA, Madden and NBA 2K). Wilson is also interested in photography and playing basketball.
Jason Lajoie (@LudicScribbler) is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His work explores how gay identities are constructed and negotiated through media and technology in online gaming and social media. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Honours BA in English Literature and Theatre, and an MA in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. He has been the recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarship, and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
During my undergraduate studies at Carleton I double majored in English Literature and Linguistics, and played a lot of video games. During my Masters in English Literature at Carleton I specialized in science fiction and dystopia, and played a lot of video games. At some point I realized that I ought to combine these interests.
Pascaline Lorentz has her PhD in Sociology and is a Postdoctoral Researcher working on online gaming at the Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family at Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic.
Granted with an ENDEAVOUR Research Fellowship in 2011 she undertook a study documenting the social environment of an intense practice of virtual world attachments in Australia.
Toby Malone holds a B.A (Hons.) from the University of Western Australia and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies.
Sebastian Malton is an undergraduate student in the Department of Mathematics studying Computer Science and a minor in Classical Studies and a research assistant for the Games Institute and the Rhetorical Figures working group.
Christian is an award winning writer from Toronto. He is interested in eSports and the narrative negotiations that take place between player and game. Christian is currently studying in the Experimental Digital Media stream.
Philip Miletic is an English PhD Candidate, whose areas of interest include digital life writing and 20th-century American literature. He is the Book Reviews Editor for First Person Scholar and the Vice President of the Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE).
Alberto is a Ph.D. student at the Open University Of Catalonia, Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Joan Arnedo and Dr. Carina GonzÃ¡lez, and a visiting researcher at the HCI Games Group. He holds a M.Sc in education and teacher training from the University of La Rioja and he is a computer engineer from the University of La Laguna. His main interests include gamification design in the field of learning environments, as well as healthcare and wellness. His thesis is titled "A framework for agile design of gamification services".
Jagger Nast was an undergraduate student in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo looking to expand his knowledge of game design.
Amber O’Brien is pursuing a Masters in Literary Studies. Her main area of interest is examining how narratives in science fiction and fantasy texts work to challenge and alter gender ideologies in Western societies.
Saba is in her third year of Health Studies, with a minor in Gerontology.
She has worked as a research assistant on various projects started in The Games Institute. Her interests revolve around projects that relate to patient satisfaction, especially the elderly.
Kaitlin graduated with a Master's degree in Rhetoric and Communication Design. She has strong interests in communication strategies, marketing, public relations, and event planning. Kaitlin is the former Communications and Project Coordinator for the GI.
Dr. Rita Orji was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Games Institute, working with Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Chrysanne Di Marco. Rita’s research at the Games Institute focuseed on creating persuasive games aiming to help adolescents avoid various interconnected risky health behaviours (e.g., risky sex; drugs and alcohol use).
Alexandra Orlando (BA and MA, English and Film, Wilfrid Laurier University), is a first year Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo in the English Languages and Literature department. She is specializing in narratology and game studies. Her research interests include the intersection between film theory and game cinematics, e-sports and East Asian game studies.
Felan Parker is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow with the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre at Concordia University. His current research examines indie gaming cultures, and he is collaborating with the Games Institute on the Indie Interfaces project.
Alexandra Paz-Barreiras was The Game Institute's Spring 2014 Marketing, Communications, and Research co-op student. As her long title suggests, Alex was responsible for many tasks, one of which being the management of the GI and IMMERSe web sites. She is in the process of completing her undergraduate degree through the Arts and Business program in the Faculty of Arts.
Matthew Perks is a Ph.D. student (B.A and M.A. Concordia University) focusing on game culture and industry. His research interests broadly cover meta-game development, online community formation, monetization strategies, e-sports, and content creators. His dissertation research focuses on the co-creation of what is referred to as the meta-game within competitive and team-based online games â€“ specifically in the role of content creators and user analytics.
Chantel Pilon was a co-op student for The Games Institute from September - December 2013. During her term she created many of the visual and digital promotional materials for the Games Institute. She was a fifth-year student enrolled in Honours Recreation and Business. In addition to her academics, Chantel was a member of the varsity track and field team at the University of Waterloo specializing in the pentathlon and 4X400m relay. The pentathlon is a contest consisting of five events: 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and the 800m.
Quinn Powell, BA (Wilfrid Laurier University) and MA (Wilfrid Laurier University), has research interests in gender studies, digital media theory and design, as well as post-colonial theory and literature.
Brandon Ralph (BSc and MA in Psychology) was a PhD candidate in the Cognitive Neuroscience division of the Psychology Department at the University of Waterloo. His primary areas of expertise are visual processing and attention.
MASc. candidate from Systems Design Engineering working as an experimental perceptual psychologist, a quantitative user researcher and a human factors engineer at the Human Optimization and Modelling Lab (HOM Lab).
Evan Ribey was an undergraduate student in the School of Public Health at the University of Waterloo. Currently entering his final year of his undergraduate education, he has research interests in web-based applications of health care data and information visualization.
Kirsten Robinson is a systems design engineer and designer. She worked on Governor General Award winning architect Phillip Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil team to create responsive architectures that were shown across Canada and at the Venice Biennial.
Mike is a Masters student in the Computer Science program at the University of Waterloo. Before coming to Canada, he studied game development and augmented reality in Austria and Medicine in Germany. He is also a co-founder of a Berlin-based start-up company which is active in the 3D printing sphere.
Brian is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology & Legal Studies. His research looks at the intersection between surveillance and new media. Specifically, he is interested in how software has come to structure identity politics, labour practices, and activism both online and off.
Katta has a background in Cultural Studies and Computer Science from Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, with theses concerning male identity in Italian Western, experiences of blind players in text-based games and eye movements in Tetris. Since 2014, Katta is part of the HCI group at TU Wien conducting work on the experiences of marginalised people. More concretely, Katta's PhD centres on autistic children's experiences with technologies. When it comes to games, Katta is interested in the quirky and unusual, the fringe experiences which can be overlooked by traditional methods. Other research interests include Critical Disability Studies, Gender Studies and Philosophy of Science. Katta plays Roller Derby and can be found knitting in most meetings.
Katja Rogers is a Computer Science PhD student from the Institute of Media Informatics at Ulm University, Germany. As a visiting researcher within Dr. Lennart Nacke's research group, her current project at the GI focuses on the effects of audio on player experience in a VR horror game.
Conchita is a student at the University of Waterloo entering the final year of her undergraduate degree. She is in Honours Arts and Business, Honours Peace and Conflict Studies, and her minor is International Studies.
Matthew was an MA student in the Experimental Digital Media program. His research involved media design, narrative, and experimental graphics.
Jonathan Rodriguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science.
Melissa Stocco joined The Games Institute as a research assistant. She was a 4th year undergraduate student in the Arts and Business program with a major in Sociology and minor in Digital Arts Communication. Melissa became interested in studying games after taking Jennifer Whitson's course Gamers and Games, and Lennart Nacke's course Introduction to Game Design.
George Ross, BA (Hons.) (Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Carleton University) and MA (Applied Language Studies, Carleton University) specializes in simulations, organizational rhetoric, and narrative modeling.
Ruth is a senior PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Doctorate with a concentration in Computer Science and Curriculum & Instruction at New Mexico State University. She is interested in developing educational games that have a constructivist approach and that enhance critical thinking.
Lukas Schabler (BA Graz University of Technology) is a Computer Science Master's student at the Technical University of Graz who is interested in Interactive Systems and Data Science. He joined the summer research program to expand his knowledge of game design.
Lisa Tran was the Communications and Research co-op student for the Fall 2014 term. She has many titles to her role including Project Manager Assistant as well as Facilities Manager.
Alvaro Uribe holds has a degree in Mechatronics Engineering from Mil. Nueva Granada University, Bogotá, Colombia and a Master's and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Universidade Estudal de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.
Deltcho Valtchanov is a postdoctoral research fellow with a background in virtual reality, human visual perception, and cognitive and behavioural neuroscience. His past research has focused on how low level visual information influences emotional responses to, and aesthetics of, visual scenes.
Elise Vist, BA and MA (English, Carleton University), is a Ph.D. candidate studying fans, immersion, and queerness. Her research focuses on hockey fans and Real Person Fanfiction, but she has also written about immersion and queerness in games, including dys4ia, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Lord of the Rings: Online, and the worldwide scavenger hunt GISHWHES. She is also passionate about creative and playful game design, running workshops using University of Alberta's Cobble Cards. As a co-founder of the Games Institute Janes (GI Janes), Elise encouraged women and non-binary people to find joy in gaming.
Emma Vossen is a PhD candidate currently writing a dissertation examining how accessible games and gaming/gamer culture is to women. Her research is specifically examining how comfortable women feel playing, talking and writing about games in both physical and virtual spaces and how this determines who enters and becomes a part of gamer culture.
Cong is a fourth year Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo with double minors in Psychology and Entrepreneurship. He has co-founded, and serves as advisor on several startup ventures in the KW region.
Amberly H. West, (BA and MA University of Waterloo) researches games for health. Her secondary research areas include adaptations, rhetoric, and new media studies. Under the supervision of Dr. Neil Randall and Dr. Mark Hancock, she and Rebecca Langer (Computer Science) have been working on a multi-disciplinary research project for which the team researched, designed, and developed a prototype of a game that teaches children to identify and manage food allergies.
Emily West started her work with the GI as a Research and Communications Assistant co-op student for the Winter 2015 term. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology she has returned to The Games Institute full time as Operations Coordinator.
Steve Wilcox is a PhD candidate in the English department at the University of Waterloo where he studies empathy, videogames, comics, and rhetoric. His focus is on the use of media for translating knowledge between bodies, communities, and cultures. He is also one of the 25 grad students across Canada to win a $3000 SSHRC award in the "Research for a Better Life: The Storytellers" competition.
Wilcox is currently researching the relationship between language, media, and normativity. More specifically, he is interested in how media defines and replicates a normative definition of reality and how this impacts what we think of as abnormal and disabled.
Melody was the co-op student for The Games Institute for Winter 2016. She's an Arts and Business student, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Resources Management. She has worked closely with the Project Manager to organize special events at The Games Institute to showcase both the gaming culture within the university. She also worked on improving the GI website, and digitizing or redesigning some of the outdated systems.
Alexandre Zima is a candidate for his Masters in English, with his research focusing on "toxic rhetoric," the rhetoric of terrorism, trolling, conspiracism, and pseudoscience.