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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.

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.

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.

Games Institute (GI) and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) researchers have been working together on strategies to better educate the public about howthe application of nanotechnology (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 sprayscan be used as intranasalvaccines during this crucial time.