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Dr. Cayley MacArthur is a long-standing name in the Games Institute (GI) ever since the GI opened its physical doors to researchers and students. She’s spent time here working on her undergraduate and Master’s theses, her Doctoral research, and has officially joined the GI as a faculty member. As Assistant Professor, Dr. MacArthur teaches out of UWaterloo’s Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business. But how did she get here? Well, luckily, Dr. MacArthur took the time to answer questions we had for her about her time at the GI and her hopes of continuing on with her research.

From May 15 – 19, 2023, the Games Institute (GI) hosted the second International Conference on Games and Narrative (ICGaN). It focused on the theme Isolation and Return: The Making of Narrative Worlds. Speakers from 40 universities joined from around the world explained how, societally, we have all been forced to consider and rethink personal and communal lives necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The final turnout of the 2023 conference resulted in 17 sessions, 47 unique presentations, 5 keynotes, 3 workshops, 4 academic game streams, and a game jam.

Dr. Cayley MacArthur (Stratford) delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Jeux & Accessibilité / Game Accessibility conference took place on August 17 – 18, 2023 in Montreal, Québec.Her address - “Can Making Games Inclusively Help to Make More Inclusive Games?” responded to the conference themes of video game accessibility.

On August 9, 2023, Dr. Ifi Mavridou and Dr. John E. Muñoz (J&F Alliance, Adjunct) spoke at a panel on the use of physiological monitoring, biofeedback equipment, and tools for VR applications and research. Both researchers are experts in this field, with Mavridou talking aboutthe creation and design of hardware andMuñoz about design and the use of software, they presented their experiences on what these tools can offer for research in games and more.The applications that both Mavridou and Muñoz work withare cutting edge and provide researchers with a toolkit on how they can design and approach their studies. This approach personalizes and tailors the study design not only to make it easier for researchers but also for study participants to jointly designand study immersive experiences.

On September 27th, the Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum unveiled a new exhibit to the publicDibaajimowin | 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 thedesign, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.