Project Details

SWaGUR: Saskatchewan-Waterloo Games User Research

The Saskatchewan-Waterloo Games User Research (SWaGUR) program brings together 11 researchers from 7 departments at the Universities of Waterloo and Saskatchewan 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 draws 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.



Lennart Nacke
Director of the HCI Games Group


Giovanni Ribeiro
Master's Student, Games User Research
Marim Ganaba
Master's Student and UX Researcher
Melissa Stocco
Undergraduate Researcher
Gustavo Fortes Tondello
Ph.D. Candidate, Personalization of Gameful Interactive Systems
Rina Wehbe
Ph.D. Student, Errors, Perception of AI, Health Games
Colin Whaley
Undergraduate Researcher, Biomedical Sciences, Older Adults and Technology
Karina Arrambide
Ph.D. Student, Games User Research
Katja Rogers
Visiting Ph.D. Student, Audio and VR games
Pejman Mirza-Babaei
Affiliated Faculty
Mitchell Loewen
Undergraduate Researcher, Psychology
Alberto Mora
Visiting Ph.D. Student, Gamification Elements
Dennis Kappen
Ph.D. Student, Game Design and User Interaction for Older Adults
Julia Brich
Visiting Ph.D. Student, Game Development for Human Emotions
Kai Bornemann
Visiting Master's Student, Unity Development
Lukas Schabler
Visiting Master's Student, Unity Development
Ruth Castillo
Visiting Ph.D. Student, Educational Games
Sultan Alharthi
Visiting Ph.D Student, Planning Interfaces
Andrew Cen
Master's Student, Game Design Research
Basim Sahaf
Undergraduate Researcher, Unity Development
Joseph Tu
Undergraduate Researcher, Game Design
Kenny Fung
Master's Student, Unity and Angular Development
Mahir Hoque
Undergraduate Researcher, UX Design
Michelle Poon
Undergraduate Researcher, Language Learning Games


Year 2018

A Theory of Gamification Principles Through Goal-Setting Theory

Gustavo F. Tondello, Hardy Premsukh, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2018. A Theory of Gamification Principles Through Goal-Setting Theory. In Proceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). IEEE, 1118-1127. Online:

Year 2017

Curiously Motivated: Profiling Curiosity with Self-Reports and Behaviour Metrics in the Game “Destiny”

Mike Schäkermann, Giovanni Ribeiro, Guenter Wallner, Simone Kriglstein, Daniel Johnson, Anders Drachen, Rafet Sifa, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2017. Curiously Motivated: Profiling Curiosity with Self-Reports and Behaviour Metrics in the Game “Destiny”. In Proceedings of the 2017 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - CHI PLAY '17. Amsterdam, Netherlands. ACM, 143-156 . doi:10.1145/3116595.3116603

From Joysticks to Pokémon Go: Games and Play Research in SIGCHI

Lennart E. Nacke, Zachary O. Toups, and Daniel Johnson. 2017. From Joysticks to Pokémon Go: Games and Play Research in SIGCHI. In Proceeding of the 2017 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2017. Denver, CO, USA. ACM, 1330-1333. doi:10.1145/3027063.3049284