Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government for Ontario, Visits The Games Institute

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

After a long period without visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Games Institute (GI) was happy to welcome Associate Minister Kaleed Rasheed to the GI facilities on November 9th as part of his tour of the UW's main and Stratford campuses.

Mr. Rasheed was chosen to be Ontario’s Associate Minister of Digital Government because of his passion for technology, including his earlier experience of working at Blackberry Ltd. On Tuesday, GI's Executive Director Dr. Neil Randal led Mr. Rasheed on a tour of the GI facilities, which - interestingly - happen to have once been Blackberry offices!

At the GI that afternoon, the Minister was presented a quick overview of the wide variety of GI interdisciplinary research. Mr. Rasheed started off by learning about GI's lab ecosystem co-funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund, including the Storyboard and the Waterloo Virtual Reality Storytelling labs. In addition, Dr. Oliver Schneider (Management Sciences) introduced the Minister to research on haptics and work undertaken in his Haptic Experience Lab. One of the students working in the Lab, PhD candidate Marco Moran-Ledesma (Systems Design Engineering), showcased his innovative work, including a variety of 3D printed objects. 

Mr. Rasheed had an opportunity to also learn about UW's involvement in eSports and the GI-based eSports broadcasting team. Finally, the Minister engaged with Dr. Shana MacDonald (Communication Arts) to discuss the value of Instagram for feminist activism and digital culture (@aesthetic.resistance).

Mr. Rasheed, who studied computer science and business himself, was able to see first-hand Waterloo’s human-centred and technology-first approach, highlighted through the work of the Games Institute’s hard-working researchers. 

Minister Khaleed in a flight simulator with a face mask on.