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On September 27th, the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum unveiled a new exhibit to the public—”Dibaajimowin | Stories From this Land.” The exhibit was assembled by Anishinaabe curator Emma Rain Smith, an MA student from Waterloo. The exhibit highlights Indigenous contributions to the region’s history with an emphasis on Urban Indigeneity. GI members Dr. Aynur Kadir (University of British Columbia) and PhD student Sid Heeg (Environment, Enterprise, and Development) took part in the design, curation, and research associated with the exhibition. The entire project is the result of the collaborative work between researchers, activists, and community members from the region, including the University of Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier University.
On October 19th, 2022, PhD student Sid Heeg (School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development) presented “Reap What You Sow: Refuting Misinformation about Farming and Farm Practices.” The talk was an overview of Heeg’s dissertation research focusing on the misinformation that circulates on social media about farmers and farming, including the effects and harms this misinformation has on the farmers themselves.
On July 5th, Drs. Lili Liu (School of Public Health Sciences), John Muñoz (Systems Design Engineering), and Michael Barnett-Cowan (Kinesiology and Health Sciences) were brought together to share their knowledge and expertise on how games and interactive technologies are being used in the healthcare industry. The panel was hosted and moderated by the Games Institute’s Research Communications Officer Dr. Emma Vossen.
The Games Institute (GI) is pleased to announce the recipients of its first-ever seed grant funding competition. In total, the GI Seed Program will support eight interdisciplinary initiatives for a total of $110,000 over the next year. The competition promoted interdisciplinary collaborations in teams of researchers spanning many different disciplines and research areas.
The seed grant recipients will combine their varied expertise to tackle real-world problems facing indigenous communities, health care workers, children with speech difficulties, mothers facing homelessness, citizen scientists, and VR, XR and social media consumers.
On June 16th, Alex Flek (English Language and Literature) and Dr. Jason Grove (Chemical Engineering) spoke to GI members and guests about the development process of their game Canadian Cap and Trade Simulation (CCTS), a serious game meant to teach students about carbon cap and trade systems. They came together because of their research expertise—Alex in games and Jason in emissions.
Members of qCollaborative (qLab) participated in this year’s DH Unbound virtual conference which took place from May 17th – 19th. Drs. Jennifer Roberts-Smith (Brock University), Shana MacDonald (Communication Arts), Brianna Wiens (English Language and Literature), and Aynur Kadir (University of British Columbia) presented on the nature of the qLab and how the lab has enabled collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship and become a space of friendship and care. qLab was designed as a space to better articulate how feminism can be incorporated into design practices, materializing the digital, and remediating lived experiences into social justice design.
Each year many GI faculty and student members present at the Canadian Game Studies Association conference, better known as CGSA.
GI faculty member Gerald Voorhees is currently CGSA president and organized this year’s conference with the assistance of the CGSA executive.
This year nine GI members and Alumni presented a wide array of research ranging from the games industry and education to the depiction of animals in games.
GI members also participated as reviewers, panel moderators, and adjudicators for CGSA’s best paper competition.
Fifteen Games Institute members presented at CHI 2022 (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) both online and from the conference venue in New Orleans Louisiana from April 30th-May 5th. Research topics included realism in games, VR, smart glasses, livestreaming, and more!
Excitingly, this year’s CHI included an opening Keynote by GI Advisory Board member, Dr. Kishonna Gray (University of Kentucky), one of the world’s foremost experts on the interactions between race, gender, games, and technology.
Games Institute (GI) and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) researchers have been working together on strategies to better educate the public about how the application of (the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale) impacts our daily lives. The first of these projects focuses on educating the public about how DNA-based nasal sprays can be used as intranasal vaccines during this crucial time.
To celebrate the launch of their edited collection Networked Feminisms: Activist Assemblies and Digital Practices, editors Bri Wiens (Communication Arts), Milena Radzikowska (Mount Royal University), and Michelle MacArthur (University of Windsor) invited their fellow co-authors to discuss the intersections between feminist theories and digital technologies with researchers at the Games Institute.
This collaboration between the Games Institute and the UW Women’s Center highlighted a considerable range of issues with misogyny, homophobia, and racism in gaming. The panel, moderated by Gioia Myers, was planned for “love your body week” and discussed the policing of women and LGBTQ+ people’s bodies in both games and game spaces. The panelists, PhD Candidate Lindsay Meaning (English), Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Brianna Wiens (Communication Arts), Associate Professor Dr Shana MacDonald (Communication Arts), and Game Design and Development Instructor Dr Emma Vossen (UW Games Institute, GDD WLU) made connections between current events in games and historical and feminist events in media at large.
A Panel Discussion on Games and Education
Several GI faculty members were brought together on November 22nd to discuss the intersection between education and games in a panel moderated by Research Communications Officer Dr. Emma Vosssen.
Drs. Kristina Llewellyn (Social Development Studies), Jennifer Whitson (Sociology and Legal Studies), and Steve Wilcox (University of Wilfrid Laurier, GI and English Language and Literature Alum) explored topics such as: