The Games Institute (GI) Official Podcast

GI podStart listening now on iTunes or Soundcloud

Marisa Benjamin, Research Communications Coordinator, and Toben Racicot, English PhD candidate co-host the Games Institute (GI) podcast. Every episode we spotlight a researcher from the GI and interview them about how their research impacts the study and culture of games and interactive technologies.

Quick Links

Meet the Hosts

Asymmetric Cooperative Play with John Harris

Games for Change with Rina Wehbe

VR Futures with Alex Fleck

Games and Mental Health Support with Tina Chan

Gamification and Personalization with Gustavo Tondello

Why a Podcast?

The unfornate reality of academia is that a lot of the great research findings never reach public audiences. Or, when it does, several years have passed and it's already outdated.

This problem has to do with how research is communicated. Scholarly research is shared with scholarly audiences who exist within the same scholarly bubble. Do you subscribe to scholarly journals? Attend scholarly conferences? Likely not. 

A podcast allows us to pop the bubble and bring you research discussions as they're happening. We invite researchers to sit down and talk about what they're up to. No word counts, no jargon, no registration or subscription fee.

You get to hear about the GI researchers' successes - and failures - and learn about the person behind the scholarly curtain.


GI Podcast 001 - Press Start

Our introductory episode where we introduce ourselves, the Games Institute, and our vision for the podcast.

Sit down with the researchers and learn what's happening behind the scenes. What games are they playing? What games are they studying? and What are the implications of their findings?

Researchers rarely have opportunities to talk about their work without worrying about word counts, time limits, or wordy jargon. The GI Podcast is a place where researchers can express their successes - and failures - and discuss where they hope to go next.

GI Podcast 002 - Games for Change with Rina Wehbe

Rina Wehbe Smiling On this episode, we invited Rina Wehbe, Computer Science Ph.D. candidate, and GI member to discuss everything from her biography, her unification of Psychology and Computer Science, and her past and present research projects. 

Rina briefly discusses her early education and most interestingly her transition from a B.Sc. in Psychology to a M.Sc. in Computer Science. She disputes the assumption that the two areas of study are loosely tied, and expresses their connectedness to one another.

We talk about Wehbe's game "Above Water", a digital and physical game that was designed based on research about how to destigmatize mental health and mental illness. Wehbe speaks about wanting to continue pursuing studying Games for Change.

GI Podcast 003 - VR Futures with Alex Fleck

The Games Institute (GI) Official podcast is a research dissemination podcast featuring graduate students and researchers at the GI. We invite researchers to sit down and talk about what they've been working on and what they've been playing. Our guests don't have to worry about jargon or word counts... they can just chat for a while about cool games and games research.

In this episode we are joined by Alex Fleck, an English PhD candidate whose research focus sits at the intersection of VR, gamification, and semiotics. Alex has been a member of the GI for years now and wears many hats around the institute. He worked on the team that developed the SSHRC funded game "Hustle and Flow" - a table-top game to simulate water governance in the St. Lawrence River basin - and is currently our unofficial VR expert. Hear him chat about his game dev experience and his plans for integrating VR into his PhD studies.

Read more about Hustle & Flow here:

GI Podcast 004 - Cooperative Games, the Multidisciplinary Panel

The Games Institute (GI) Official podcast is a research dissemination podcast featuring graduate students and researchers at the GI. In this episode we revisit a recording from March 14, 2019 of the GI's multidisciplinary panel about Cooperative Games that featured three of the GI's PhD students.

Rina Wehbe is a PhD student from the Cheriton School of Computer Science at UW, Lindsay Meaning is a PhD student from English, and Marcela Bomfim is a PhD student from the School of Public Health and Health Systems. These three panelists brought their unique perspectives and expertise to discuss the co-operative games Spirit Island (2017; board game) and Overcooked 2 (2018; video game). They used the games as a springboard for a larger discussion about the genre of co-operative games: What are these games all about and why would people play them? How are they different from one another in form, content, and player experience?

Watch the video recording of the panel here:

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