Kent Aardse is 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.
Through an activity theory approach, Sultan's focus is to understand urban search & rescue teams' activity and training to design game mechanics and interfaces in simulation games. The aim of this simulation game is to improve urban search & rescue teams' sensemaking and planning skills. Sultan is 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.
Ahmad Salam Alrefai is a PhD candidate working with Dr. Chrysanne Di Marco in the area of Games for Health. He is interested in designing games to help in mental health, and to improve the human well being. Studying the neurobiological factor in order to measure the effectiveness of the games is of great interest to his research direction.
Becky Anderson, BA (English; French Studies, Waterloo), MA (Literary Studies, Waterloo) is a third-year PhD Candidate at UWaterloo, where she's also pursuing a concurrent Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science. She's the recipient of the Provost Doctoral Entrance Award (2015-2016), a Jack Gray Fellowship (2016-2017), and a President's Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018).
Karina 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.
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.
Alice is doing her Masters in Sustainability Management. Her thesis aims to answer whether gamification can engage employees to advance corporate social responsibility.
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.
Tyler works in the VR storytelling lab by assisting and providing demos where necessary. Additionally, Tyler is researching the communication habits that occur between trans-disciplinary individuals.
Natalee is a Master's student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo.
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.
Betsy Brey (BA and MA, University of Minnesota Duluth) is a PhD candidate in the English Language and Literature department, specializing in game studies. Her research focuses on the narratological impacts of game mechanics. In particular, she researches mechanics and storytelling in metagames, virtual reality, and role-playing games.
Julia Brich is 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.
Pierson Browne is a second-year Ph.D. student who has arrived in the Games Institute by way of Concordia University’s M.A. Media Studies program, during which he was an active contributor in two games research institutions: the mLab and the Centre for Technoculture, Art, and Games. Pierson’s history as an aficionado of competitive card games and competitive digital strategy games has guided his academic interest towards metagames—the compelling product of collisions between competitiveness and sociality in the context of play.
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.
Justin Carpenter, BA (Calgary), MA (Leeds), is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, focusing on aesthetics, philosophy of technology, and new media art.
Nathan is an undergraduate Nanotechnology Engineering student. He helps run the Game Development Club (GDC), and is working to develop his first tabletop game, Humanity.
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.
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.
Jay is a fifth year Computer Science undergraduate student that will be completing his studies this term. 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.
Ryan Clement (MA York University, BA Brandon University) is 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.
Mufaddal is currently 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.
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.
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.
Mahzar is 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.
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.
Alex Fleck is a Masters student in the XDM stream interested in the application of new media (games) criticism to other forms. In particular, he is interested in the transposition of literary works into other media.
Kenny is a recent MBA graduate at Wilfrid Laurier University and has a B.A. Honours Psychology from the University of Waterloo. He is currently interested in the field of computer science 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.
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.
Mitchell Loewen is 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 is currently 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nicholas Hobin, BA (King's University College at WU) and MA (University of Waterloo), is a first-year PhD student curious about video games, narratology, Lovecraftian horror, and Shakespeare.
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.
Kaitlyn Holbein is 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.
Ian is a 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.
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.
Wan Hong Situ is the CTO of Invuze. He is responsible for developing the platform and leading the implementation of the applications. He's currently 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.
Mahir Hoque is 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.
Kelly is in the process of finishing her undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, with a minor in Theatre & Performance.
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.
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 is returning to resume her co-op role as an Operations Assistant in Spring 2018.
At the Games Institute, Marta is involved with a wide variety of things, including: day-to-day operations of the GI space, answering general inquiries, space booking, event planning, social media management, web development, and site maintenance.
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.
Arda is a fourth year Liberal Arts student with a passion for design in digital media. He is currently in pursuit of videography as his specialization going forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cayley MacArthur, BKI (Knowledge Integration, Waterloo), MA (English & Systems Design Engineering, Waterloo), is a PhD student in Systems Design Engineering.
Lindsay Meaning is a PhD candidate in the department of English. Her research interests include representations and reproductions of structural violence in video games, as well as 19th century women's writing.
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.
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).
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".
Kateryna Morayko is pursuing a masters in systems design engineering through the SWaGUR program under the supervision of Dr.Mark Hancock. She is interested in implementing psychology theories and methods into game experience research, and to study gameplay behaviour in various contexts (such as VR).
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.
Jagger Nast is an undergraduate student in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo looking to expand his knowledge of game design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Matthew Perks is a Ph.D. student (B.A and M.A. Concordia University) focusing on game culture and industry. His research interests broadly cover meta-game development, online community formation, monetization strategies, e-sports, and content creators. His dissertation research focuses on the co-creation of what is referred to as the meta-game within competitive and team-based online games â€“ specifically in the role of content creators and user analytics.
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 is a fifth-year student enrolled in Honours Recreation and Business. In addition to her academics, Chantel is 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.
Michelle is a University of Waterloo undergraduate studying Joint Honours in SPCOM and PACS with a minor in Digital Arts Communication. She is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Lennart E. Nacke in contributing to UX/UI design projects within the HCI Games Group. She is interested in user research and interactions between humans and computers.
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.
Brandon Ralph (BSc and MA in Psychology) is 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.
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).
Evan Ribey is 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.
My research interests involve gender, hierarchy, and online gaming communities, specifically surrounding MMO/online games like World of Warcraft. I am also interested more broadly in technology and culture, namely, how culture and people shape technology (through video games), and in turn how technology (video games) shape people and culture.
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.
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.
Jonathan Rodriguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science.
Katja Rogers is a Computer Science PhD student from the Institute of Media Informatics at Ulm University, Germany. As a visiting researcher within Dr. Lennart Nacke's research group, her current project at the GI focuses on the effects of audio on player experience in a VR horror game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Matthew is an MA student in the Experimental Digital Media program. His research involves media design, narrative, and experimental graphics.
Melissa Stocco has joined The Games Institute as a research assistant. She is 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.
Gustavo Tondello is a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo under supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Daniel Vogel and researcher at the HCI Games Group and the Games Institute. His main interests include gamification and games for health and learning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
John (BA Honors English, Alberta), MA (Literary Studies, Waterloo) is a first year PhD candidate at Waterloo. His research interests include narratology, the narrative of sports, eSports, online gaming culture, and digital media studies. His dissertation will examine the narrative structure of traditional sporting broadcasts and of online eSports leagues.
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.
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.