Project: SWaGUR: Saskatchewan-Waterloo Games User Research

The Canadian computer game industry is the third largest in the world, behind the USA and Japan. The sector contributes $2.3 billion annually to Canada's GDP, it employs 16,500 people, and the demand for skilled talent in creative and technical roles is increasing: 40% of Canadian game companies expect over 25% growth in the next 2 years. Although Canadian graduate training programs provide the industry with software developers, there is no graduate training program focused on the essential area of games user research (GUR). GUR focuses on understanding, measuring, analyzing, and designing the user experience in games. GUR draws from theoretical foundations to inform design principles that affect player enjoyment and immersion, and applies evaluation methods, data analytics, statistical analysis, predictive modeling, and visualization to assess player engagement. The Saskatchewan-Waterloo Games User Research (SWaGUR) program will bring together 11 researchers from 7 departments at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Waterloo with the long-term goal of training 85 HQP in GUR in an interdisciplinary environment in collaboration with our industrial partners to serve the needs of an important part of Canada's information technology sector. The team of world-leading games researchers will draw upon their interdisciplinary perspectives across science, engineering, social science, and humanities to apply academic learning (courses) and experiential learning (projects) in an industrially-relevant context to train HQP in both research and professional skills.

The SWaGUR CREATE initiative addresses the Human Interaction with Digital Information research topic within the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) target area. With many computing applications (advancing game technology), the proposed program will generate technologies and provide training in the deployment of technologies that change how people interact with digital information, both for entertainment games and for the rapidly growing serious games sector.

NEWS: Program Coordinator Position Available. See: Position Advert


Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Ian Stavness
University of Saskatchewan
Kevin Stanley
Lorin Elias Kevin Schneider