Dr. Michael Barnett-Cowan is an Associate Professor for the Kinesiology Department, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, at the University of Waterloo.
Dr. Shi Cao studies human factors and ergonomics using both experiment and computational simulation methods.
Professor Chilana has disciplinary training in Information Science and Computer Science and has worked on a variety of research projects in HCI.
Karen Collins' research is diverse and interdisciplinary, but has always had a central focus: the interaction of humans and machines, specifically as related to sound.
Colin Ellard is a psychologist researching neuroscience. His interests include how the organization and appearance of natural and built spaces affects movement, wayfinding, emotion, and physiology. He directs the Urban Realities Lab at the University of Waterloo.
Kevin Harrigan is a member of the University of Waterloo's Canadian Centre for Arts and Technology (CCAT). He teaches courses in multimedia and computer-game design in the Digital Arts Communication (DAC) program, and has been a technical expert witness in legal cases regarding Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs).
Professor Kaplan studies the application of computer graphics in art, illustration, ornamentation, and design. This research area is rooted in computer graphics, but involves forays into art (to study historical sources) classical and computational geometry (to develop mathematical and computational models of ornament), and computer-aided design and manufacturing.
Edith Law is an Assistant Professor at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on interaction techniques and incentive mechanisms for volunteer-based human computation systems, and how these systems can address problems in Science and Public Health. She is also part of the Human Computer Interaction Lab.
Professor Fue-Sang Lien has over 20 years of research experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Turbulance Modelling.
Chrysanne Di Marco has been a member of the Artificial Intelligence Group since 1990. She is also project leader of the HealthDoc project, which works to develop natural language generation systems for producing multimedia health information tailored to medical conditions and patient characteristics.
Ian Milligan is a digital and Canadian historian. He’s currently exploring how historians can fruitfully use web archives and other large digital repositories.
Director of The Games Institute
In addition to directing The Games Institute, Neil Randall has also earned large grants for The Interactive and Multi-Modal Research Syndicate (IMMERSe) and the Waterloo Game Analysis and Monitoring Environment (WatGAME). He is the Faculty Advisor to the Games Institute's First Person Scholar.
Jennifer Roberts-Smith is Director of the Q Collaborative, a research lab that leverages digital media (including games) to study and encourage audience engagement in cultural activities. She is Principal Investigator of The Stratford Festival Online: Games and Virtual Learning Environments for Education and Audience Engagement, funded by the Ontario Early Researcher Award program and the Stratford Festival. Her recent work in game studies has focused primarily on Shakespeare games. At the Games Institute, JRS is also a member of the Virtual Reality cluster of the Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation project. She teaches acting, digital media design, and dramaturgy, as well as directing departmental theatre productions in the Theatre and Performance program.
Stacey’s research and teaching interests are human-computer interaction and computer-supported collaboration.
Gerald Voorhees studies games and new media as sites for the construction and contestation of identity and culture. He is also interested in public discourse pertaining to games and new media, as well as rhetorics of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in mediated public discourse.
Jim Wallace is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo. His research focuses on interaction techniques for computing systems that involve multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and large interactive wall displays, and how these systems can address problems in Public Health.
Jennifer Whitson is the Research Advisor for Execution Labs, an accelerator and investment platform for indie game studios, as well as an affiliated faculty member with the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre (TAG) at Concordia University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Brad Mehlenbacher is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communication in the Department of English Language & Literature at the University of Waterloo.
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".
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.
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.
Diane Watson is a PhD Candidate in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Her focus is on Gamification, in particular, how positive behaviours can be encouraged through games.
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).
Kayla received her Undergraduate Degree from the University of Waterloo studying Arts and Business. From past co-op experiences, Kayla has worked in various industries at companies such as Art in Tanzania, MappedIn, Humber College and CIBC.
Dr. Michael Hancock is a sessional instructor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His dissertation was on the history of textual representation in videogames, a study which ranges from videogame instruction manuals to the 1989 Amiga game It Came From the Desert. He is interested in three areas of game studies: the appearance of gamic structures in other media, the historical shifts in game design and interpretation, and the formal aspects of video games, as they present themselves to the players. He’s also interested in social applications of digital media in general, and how societies adapt to these new technologies.
Becky Anderson completed a BA (English; French Studies) and MA (Literary Studies) at Waterloo. Now a PhD Candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature, she’s also concurrently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science. She’s the recipient of the Provost Doctoral Entrance Award (2015-2016), a Jack Gray Fellowship (2016-2017), a W.K. Thomas Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018), and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018).
Funded by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (2018-2020), her research explores fantastic fictional worlds, like Middle-earth, Westeros, or the Wizarding World, and examines the places of these worlds across different mediums to consider what elements make these worlds convincing spaces to inhabit. Her research also considers the communities created around and in the digitally adapted spaces of these fantastic fictional worlds to assess what kinds of self-construction emerge in these virtual locales and how such self-construction reciprocally affects the living culture of the game.
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.
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.
Liu Zhe is a master's student co-supervised by Professor James Wallace from School of Public Health and Professor Daniel Vogel from School of Computer Science. Her current research is studying about people's fatigue when interacting with touch-sensitive display walls.
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.
"Currently my research is in a few areas, but the focus is on virtual reality and simulation (together and separately). I'm looking at VR from the perspective of game studies as well as semiotics theory, and thinking through management/roleplaying simulations and their applications. I also spend some time with comics scholarship, and playing Dead Cells. Lots of Dead Cells."
- Alex Fleck
Kristina R. Llewellyn is the Principal Investigator of Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (www.dohr.ca): The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children History Education Initiative, a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Kevin Barton received his PhD in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of Waterloo. His doctoral research examined how people effectively navigate the world around them, using techniques drawn from mathematics, psychophysiology, virtual reality, and computational neuroscience.
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.
As a User Experience Designer, Phil spends his days learning to understand people and the work that they do, and then finding ways to make that work more effective and satisfying. But as a long-time game nerd, he can't help but turn that same lens on the mechanics that underpin games--what works, what doesn't, and what that means for the experiences that games offer.
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.
Jagger Nast was an undergraduate student in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo looking to expand his knowledge of game design.
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.
Natalee was a Master's student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo.
Betsy Brey (BA and MA, University of Minnesota Duluth) is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature. Her research focuses on the intersections of narratological structure and gameplay. In particular, she's interested in how players understand and interpret narrative forms in role-playing games and metagames.
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).
Gerd is doing his Master's in Computational Visualistics at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg (Germany). There he focuses on real-time applications, visualization, AR/VR and game development. He's also an honary member of Acagamics, a students game developer club and a research assistant at STIMULATE and IBMI where he develops medical technology applications.
Caroline Wong has joined The Games Institute as a research assistant for her Spring 2017 co-op and will be under the supervision of the Associate Director, Dr. Mark Hancock.
Andrew will be starting his Masters of Systems Design Engineering this fall. Andrew has an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication and was an undergraduate researcher with HCI Games. Andrew is an emerging digital media designer. His primary focuses in digital design revolve around photography and videography. Andrew also has experience in the Adobe suites including; Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom. He also has taken an interest in game development and game design, having played many games in his past time.
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.
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.
John Yoon (BA Honors English, Alberta), MA (Literary Studies, Waterloo) is a second year PhD candidate at Waterloo. His research interests include narratology, the narrative of sports, eSports, online gaming culture, and digital media studies.
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.
Adam Bradley, BA (McMaster) MA (Waterloo), is a PhD student interested in the intersections between technology and traditional literary studies. His MA research project, titled "Data Visualization and the Avant-Garde Aesthetic" was a digital humanities project completed in conjunction with the English department's Digital Media Lab and the Computer Science department's Touchlab.
Andre Yam is an eSports specialist who is concerned with all aspects of competitive "play" and the spectatorship that follows. He has an M.A. in English Literary Studies from the University of Waterloo with a combined honours B.A. in English and History from Wilfrid Laurier University. He currently works with the Games Institute along with the Ontario eSports Gaming Events group in promoting and theorizing the future of eSports.
Gada Jane is a filmmaker and writer. She began her career developing other writers’ scripts for theatre. She has made 5 short films, worked as an editor, ran a new media production company, and shot previs for the stunt team of the CW show Supergirl. She was a winner and runner-up in WIFT-V’s From Our Dark Side genre writing competition.
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.
Matthew was an MA student in the Experimental Digital Media program. His research involved media design, narrative, and experimental graphics.
Kirk W. Goodlet received his PhD in History at the University of Waterloo and was a research associate at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. He has worked and conducted research in archives across Canada, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In addition, Kirk is also the co-founder and writer for clioscurrent.com, a website dedicated to exploring current affairs with historical perspective.
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.
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.
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.
Leah teaches User Experience Design and Innovation at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus. She joined Waterloo from an interdisciplinary background, bridging design and research from computer science, human-computer interaction, and graphic design. She has four years of industry experience working as a designer.
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.
Ed Lank is an associate professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. His research is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).
Julia Brich was a Ph.D. student from Ulm University, Germany. In her work, she focuses on the effects that various game mechanics like highscore systems, achievements, or non-player character design have on player motivation.
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.
Seamas received his MSc in 2013 from Queen's University, Kingston, in the area of Psychology (Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science). He is currently finishing his PhD in the same area. Seamas' postdoctoral research will focus on understanding the factors that relate to cyber sickness in virtual reality (VR). His previous work involved the use of sensory stimulation to reduce conflicts between senses in VR.
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.
While currently working as freelance web, digital, and marketing designer, Gina continues to look for new opportunities to put her passion for presentation and design to good 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.
Professor Mehlenbacher is an Ontario Early Researcher Award holder who specializes in science communication, citizen science, and expertise in multidisciplinary teams.
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.
Dr. Jesse Hoey is an associate professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He is also an adjunct scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Toronto, Canada, where he is co-leader of the AI and Robotics Research Team. Dr. Hoey received the B.Sc. degree (1992) in physics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, the M.Sc. degree (1995) in physics and the Ph.D degree (2004) in computer science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. From 2004-2010, he was an assistant professor in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee, Scotland. In 2014-2015 he was a visiting professor at the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en automatique (INRIA) in Sophia-Antipolis, France.
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.
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.
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.
Diana has a strong research focus on discourse analysis and social semiotics. Her MA Thesis, entitled "Appraisal Theory in the Identification of the Discursive Choices at Work Behind the Positioning of Powerful Women in Public Discourse," was strongly influenced by the work of Norman Fairclough, P.R.R. White and Ronald Wardhaugh.
Lindsay Meaning (BA English, Wilfrid Laurier University; MA Experimental Digital Media, University of Waterloo) is a second year PhD student in the English department at UWaterloo. Her research centers on settler colonialism and imperial ideologies in single player role-playing games. Other research interests include video game adaptations of literary texts, as well as adaptation and fan studies more broadly. She has also been awarded the Beltz Essay Prize, PhD Grade Average Award and presented at CGSA 2018.
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.
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.
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.
Jenn Rickert is an interdisciplinary-trained academic, currently in the English PhD program, who specializes in the study of people, technology, and culture. Currently, her research focuses on gender, power structures, and social dynamics surrounding competitive gaming communities, particularly within World of Warcraft.
Rina R. Wehbe is an academic researcher at the University of Waterloo. She is currently working towards the completion of her Ph.D. Mathematics Computer Science at Cheriton School of Computer Science, UW. Her research interests include affective computing, user difficulty, and expert users. She applies her work to both the domains of games, interface design, and productivity applications. He unique interdisciplinary background B.Sc. Psychology and M.Sc. Computer Science informs her work. Her affiliations include HCI Games Group, and the Games Institute.
Marta is in her third year of studying Science and Business with a specialization in Biotechnology. She aspires to combine her knowledge of both fields in the future. Marta has been with the Games Institute since the Fall 2017 term, and greatly enjoyed her co-op role as the Operations Assistant in Spring 2018.
Marta loves cross stitching and sings in an a cappella group at the University. Marta’s favourite types of video games are story-based role-playing games and life simulation games. During her employment, she reveled in playing new games and testing out new technology.
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.
Ben’s background is in visual neuroscience and his research interests relate to the development and plasticity of human visual brain areas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jane Tingley is an Assistant Professor in Hybrid Media in the Department of Fine Arts and the Stratford campus at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her research combines traditional studio practice with new media tools, spanning responsive/interactive installation, performative robotics, and the creation of a gestural game.
In the research community, there has been a new direction of research on dexterous myoelectric control mimicking the neuromuscular system by extracting nature control information from surface EMG with advanced algorithm, and Ning Jiang is one of the world leading experts in this exciting direction.
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.
Gustavo Tondello's research interests include gamification and games for health, wellbeing, and learning, user experience in gamification, and gameful design methods. His work focuses on the design and personalization of gameful applications.
Joseph is a previous game tester for: Dota2 (Valve), Maplestory (Nexon), Blade&Soul (Ncsoft) and GunZ : The Duel(Mailet). He has immense interests in UX and UI interfaces. With his background in Digital Arts Communication (DAC), he seeks to explore the different dimensions of wireframes and paper prototypes that can be useful in game designs.
Joseph is deeply involved with the Duke of Edinburgh program (Gold Status), and enjoys shooting digital cinematography on his free time.
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.
Pierson Browne's research focuses on the propagation of concepts and information through the social networks formed around and within communities of play. Pierson is a methodologically-focused mixed-methods researcher: he has contributed to the field of Social Network Analysis with his work on Exponential Random Graph Models for Directed Acyclic Graphs, he has generated insights into Swarm Ethnography and Rapid Ethnographic Assessment as part of his work with game development intermediaries, and he has produced research stemming from his work as an Embedded Ethnographer with Montreal indie game development studios.
Pierson is the recipient of the PhD SSHRC Fellowship Award and Clifford C. Clogg Scholarship. He has also presented at the 2018 Sunbelt Conference as well as the 2018 UX Summit.
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.
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.
Alice is doing her Masters in Sustainability Management. Her thesis aims to answer whether gamification can engage employees to advance corporate social responsibility.
Jonathan Rodriguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science.
Leila is a PhD student in Systems Design Engineering. She studies large interactive surfaces, such as wall displays and digital tabletops, and how to support co-located collaboration around them. Leila received her MSc. degree in Software Engineering from the University of Alberta.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Nicholas Hobin, BA (King’s University College), MA (University of Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in the English Language Literature program at the University of Waterloo. He is interested in posthumanism in game studies, and the ways in which digital environments work to confront what it means to be human.
Karina Arrambide 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.
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.
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.
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.
Kenny Fung is currently doing his Masters in Computer Science. He is an MBA graduate at Wilfrid Laurier University and has a B.A. Honours Psychology from the University of Waterloo. He is currently interested in dynamic difficulty in games and is actively contributing to various projects at the HCI Games Group.
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.
Cayley MacArthur, BKI (Knowledge Integration, Waterloo), MA (English & Systems Design Engineering, Waterloo), is a PhD student in Systems Design Engineering.
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.
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.
Susan is a medical geographer with specific interests in global environmental health. She is an Adjunct Professor with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, a partner in much of the global water and sanitation research that she does. She is also a research lead for the AllerGen national centr
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.
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.
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.
Kateryna Morayko is pursuing a masters in systems design engineering through the SWaGUR program under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hancock. She has most recently volunteered at CHI 2018.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Lennart Nacke is an Associate Professor, the Associate Director Graduate Studies for Stratford campus, and the Director of the HCI Games Group at the University of Waterloo’s Games Institute. Professor Nacke teaches User Experience, Human-Computer Interaction, and Game Design at the University of Waterloo.
Séamas received his PhD from Queen's University, Kingston, in the area of Psychology (Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science). His postdoctoral research focuses on understanding the factors that relate to cyber sickness in virtual reality (VR).
Justin Carpenter is a PhD Candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His current research traces the use of the term 'generative' from literary to computational contexts, arguing that an understanding of this term opens up a variety of arguments around concepts such as authorship, agency, emergence. He argues that such a genealogy can help situate game studies scholarship in dialogue with modernist and postmodernist literary studies, as well as cinema and other media. His other research interests include poetry, philosophy of technology, and aesthetics.
Justin has recieved several awards such as the 2017 GradTALKS Research Dissemination Award and Ontario Graduate Scholarship as well as the David Nimmo English Graduate Scholarship. He has also attended both the 2016 & 2017 Conference for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA).
Brian is a 4th year English student preparing to start his grad studies at UW in Experimental Digital Media Studies (XDM). He is particularly interested in learning more about the rhetoric and language in developing field of Games User Research.
Giovanni is a Master’s student pursuing a M.A.Sc in Systems Design Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke at the University of Waterloo. He is the first Waterloo student to be enrolled in the Saskatchewan-Waterloo Games User Research (SWaGUR) program.
Ethan is an undergraduate student in the psychology Department at the University of Waterloo. He is currently studying how gamers' verbal reports of their emotions during game play relates to various aspects of their subjective emotional experiences.
Amy Liang just finished her Bachelor of Arts degree with Psychology major and Human Resource Management minor.
"I am a passionate researcher interested in Second Language Acquisition. I am currently helping a couple researches testing on topics related to accented language. On August 2018, I finished a presentation on how we could use the new VR technology to help students learn English easier."
- Amy Liang
I am a storytelling machine from a film and television background. The XDM Masters program is rapidly expanding my narrative toolkit and I am interested in the narrative possibilities of games.
"I am a Master’s student in Systems Design Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hancock at University of Waterloo. Previously, I completed a B.S. in Mechatronics Engineering (2015) at ITESM in Mexico and a postgraduate diploma in Automation & Robotics (2017) at Centennial College in Toronto. As a newcomer to the research field, I chase projects where there is an opportunity to connect my passion for digital electronics, low-power circuits, single-board computers and 3D printing with Virtual Reality applications and bring in attractive innovations that eventually lead to significant results. My friend Tony Romo taught me a simple way to become the best version of myself: "learn from the past, build on what works, change what doesn't". I pursue this philosophy each and every day because the people I interact with deserve to see that version."
- Marco Moran-Ledesma
Marcela Bomfim is a PhD Student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems (AHS), working under the supervision of Dr James Wallace. She holds a BSc in Nutrition and in Systems Analysis and an MSc in Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction.
"My research focuses on exploring Gameful Design to improve Food Literacy among people. My research leverages Self Determination Theory to build peoples' competence, autonomy, and relatedness around food, with the aim of making people more knowledgeable and skilled when planning and selecting foods, as well as promoting a celebratory food culture bringing people to eat together."
- Marcela Bomfim
Marcela has been awarded the "Research Dissemination Award" for presenting at GRADTalks: Gamification as well as attending CHI and Persuasive Technology conferences this year.
Pirate Bri’s Grocery Adventure: Teaching Food Literacy through Shopping
Food Literacy (FL) is associated with the improvement of autonomy and confidence around food, healthier dietary intake, and chronic disease prevention. However, to date, behaviour change research at CHI has focused on motivating healthy eating mainly through weight loss and calorie control, which can lead to poor nutritional choices as consumers optimize caloric intake over a balanced diet. To address this gap, we designed a mobile game called Pirate Bri’s Grocery Adventure, that seeks to improve FL through a situated learning approach to grocery shopping. Our game leverages Self Determination Theory (SDT) to build a player’s competence, autonomy, and relatedness as shoppers are encouraged to develop an understanding of the nutritional benefits of foods and are rewarded for balancing sugar, sodium, fats and fibre in their purchases.
Marcela C.C. Bomfim
James R. Wallace
For more information on Marcela's work, visit her University of Waterloo PhD Candidate profile.
Taheera completed a BA Honours Arts, Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication Major, Music Minor at the University of Waterloo with Dean’s List acknowledgement. More recently, she completed her MA in Literary Studies, also at the University of Waterloo, and started her role as the Operations Assistent at the GI in Fall 2018. As well as working at the GI, Taheera has launched her own music studio, known as Mamujee Studios.
Toben Racicot is usually busy writing and lettering comic books. But he does pause to DM games of Dungeons and Dragons and roll dice to kill zombies in Zombicide Green Horde. He also loves Popeye's Cajun Chicken, sushi, and his wife.
Yeti Li is a post-doctural student from the Systems Designs Engineering program.
Marisa Benjamin completed a BA Honours Arts and Business Co-op, Psychology Major, English Minor at the University of Waterloo with Dean’s List acknowledgement. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Rhetoric and Communication Design at UWaterloo. Marisa is passionate about Indigenous rights activism and Canadian mental health policy. Other research interests include queer theory, gender studies, and popular culture studies.
Pamela Maria Schmidt completed her BA in Honours Rhetoric and Literature, a Russian and Eastern European Minor, and a Digital Media Specialization at the University of Waterloo with Dean's List acknowledgement. She is currently an English MA student in the Experimental Digital Media stream. Pamela's plethora of interests include: haunting literary theory, pop culture studies, critical media discourse, and storytelling.
AC Atienza is a Masters student in the Experimental Digital Media program at UW. Their primary area of interest involves re-application of design principals from one field to another, such as game design into pedagogy or literary theory into game design. Hobbies include spending time with friends, playing games, designing games and drawing.
"I'm researching the expressiveness of interactive systems. Specifically, I seek to highlight and improve the way systems (like games) convey emotion or narrative through their mechanics."
- AC Atienza
Robert P. Gauthier is a PhD Student from the School of Public Health. He is currently studying online communities and how researchers can gain understandings from them and apply these understandings to public health.
Sonia Laposi, BA (English and Drama; UW), is currently completing her masters in Digital Media.
Ali is a part time PhD student at the UWaterloo Department of Management Sciences. His previous research focussed on Human-Centered Design and Human Factors Engineering; and is currently working on narrowing his thesis ideas into a research topic.
Mira is an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Social Development Studies. Her focus in research has been towards investigating and developing screening and early prevention and/or intervention methods that indicate the relationship between specific personality traits and depression or anxiety in youth. She is passionate about helping others and hoping to pursue a career in Counselling.
Marina is a Msc. student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, under the supervision of Dr. James Wallace. She holds a B.A. (hons) in Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University. Her user research study is exploring how rheumatoid arthritis patients and their physicians can be better supported in shared decision making and how digital decision aid tools can help mediate the interaction.
Marvin Pafla is a Master's student in Systems Design Engineering. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in both Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Konstanz (Germany). Marvin's interest lie Games Research, Human-Computer Interaction, and Artificial Intelligence. He has experience in public display research. Marvin is supervised by Prof. Dr. Stacey Scott and Prof. Dr. Mark Hancock. Marvin attended the 2018 CHI Conference in Montreal and will be in attendance at the 2019 ISS Conference in Tokyo.
"After I finished my undergraduate studies in Psychology and Computer Science, I took part in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research which lets me combine my interests. Specifically, I worked on interventions to increase the usability of public large interactive displays by mitigating social concerns that people have about the usage of these displays. Since then I gained interest in games research, artificial intelligence and its interaction with humans. That is why I started my Master's in System Design Engineering under the supervision of Stacey Scott and Mark Hancock in Fall 2018, while being affiliated with the Games Institute at the University of Waterloo."
- Marvin Pafla