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Augmenting Motion Graph with Video Data

Augmenting Motion Graph with Video Data,

The current project we are working on is focused on enhancing the standard motion graph algorithms. We are interested in utilizing transition frames presented in video data to inform the transition generation process in order to achieve more realistic transitions between actions. Video data is readily available, less intrusive and easy to produce compared to motion capture. Our algorithm is to reduce human interference during motion creation and improve the realism of the animation.


Kaustubha Mendhurwar, Sudhir Mudur


XiaoLong Chen,


Cabinet Shuffle

Cabinet Shuffle, 2016

In the Canadian parliamentary system, Prime Ministers must create a cabinet of ministers by appointing members of parliament to different portfolios. Each minister brings their own particular skillset, which makes wise choices essential to the success of the government. This task is further complicated when the PM hopes to make the government’s demographic make-up as representative as possible by choosing ministers with a variety of backgrounds.

In 2015,Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained that he wanted to “present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada” and was widely lauded for his unprecedented commitment to diversity and gender parity. However, Trudeau was criticized for selecting ministers with comparatively less experience in federal politics, sparking a debate about meritocracy.

Inspired in part by Trudeau’s pioneering choices, Cabinet Shuffle is a game that lets you explore a simplified version of these decisions in a casual and fun way. It hopes to encourage discussion about identity and politics, while also familiarizing players with the people who govern Canada.


David I. Waddington, William Robinson

Civic Gaming project

Civic Gaming project,

The results of a recent Pew Foundation survey have shown that there is a correlation between playing video games that simulate civic and political processes (e.g. the SimCity and Civilization series) and actual participation in civic and political life. Although this finding highlights the possibility that video games could have an significant impact on citizens' levels of knowledge and interest about civic life, the fact remains that this possible connection needs to be investigated more closely. The studies that are grouped under the umbrella of the civic games project investigate the civic potential of video games from a variety of angles.


Bart Simon, David I. Waddington


Vivek Venkatesh, Ann-Louise Davidson, Tieja Thomas, Kris Alexander, Tim Gallant, Anne Newman



Cubid, 2008

CUBID is a large scale play /game environment in which two players collaborate in real space to move through the levels of the virtual game. The players use wireless physical interfaces to control the visuals and the sound in real time. The game is aimed at casual players of all ages. Its non- narrative content is colourful and engaging and the use of the interfaces intuitive. Because participants must collaborate to advance through the levels, and because the screen is large (3Oft) and the action is entertaining for non-participants to watch, the game has a pronounced physical and social dimension.


Lynn Hughes


Geoffrey Jones, Alain Thibault



This project investigates the impact of DEFCON, a critically acclaimed nuclear war strategy game, on university students' attitudes toward nuclear weapons. DEFCON is a game which gives users an "in the bunker at NORAD" experience--as a grim soundtrack plays and sirens wail, players must make decisions about how best to use their nation's nuclear arsenal as well as attempt to defend against incoming strikes. As the game's tagline--"Everybody dies"--indicates, playing DEFCON implies reckoning with the terrifying power of nuclear weapons, and video game ethicists have consequently theorized that DEFCON is an especially promising game in terms of getting users to reflect upon the world outside the game. Our project has been putting this hypothesis to the test, and early results have been promising.


David I. Waddington


Vivek Venkatesh, Ann-Louise Davidson, Tieja Thomas, Kris Alexander, Tim Gallant



Ethereal, 2012

Ethereal is an iPad game in development that is meant to explore the actions and meaning behind ones voice and the ability to navigate an abstract space. Inspired by circuit bending, the team is working at creating a prototype that takes vocal input to generate unique sound bubbles that the player can then manipulate through touch and interaction with the environment. Ethereal takes place in the mind of a person as they drown to death. The setting allows the team to explore themes of memory and loss, as well as instability and fantasy along with unique soundscapes inspired by the setting.


Jason Camlot, Stéphanie Bouchard, Ian Arawjo, Joachim Despland, KO-OP Mode, Mohannad Al-Khatib, Jonathan Llewellyn, Michael Fortin


Jean-François Bourbeau, Taylan Ulger, François-Xavier Dupas, Bronson Zgeb

Facebook Games Research

Facebook Games Research,

This project aims to explore multiple facets of the social aspects of Facebook games. Areas of research within this project include working to understand the ways in which families use Facebook games to keep in touch through the ways they negotiate the social elements designed into the games as well as exploring the range of perceptions of cheating among the general player population.

In doing so, this research will begin to demonstrate the social affordances and boundaries of Facebook games in a range of different play contexts.


Mia Consalvo, Kelly Boudreau, Irene Serrano Vazquez

Game Jams

Game Jams,

A Game Jam is an organized get-together with the intention of creating a full game – from conception to completion – in a pre-determined, short period of time, usually one weekend. Popular Indie games such as World of Goo and Crayon Physics Deluxe were both created during this same type of rapid prototyping.

TAG holds regular game jams at the Hexagram Concordia space - keep an eye out on our events page for the next jam.sure - and what about every other morning of your life?



GAMERella, 2013-2015

Although the number of diverse game developers is growing there is still a long way to go till equity in the industry. It seems many are still intimidated by the atmosphere and have a hard time going to events like jams, where people gather for a short period of time to make small, innovative games. GAMERella was conceived at TAG Lab in 2013 to prove that game jams are the safest, most exciting environments in which to create games for the first time. Everyone experiments, learning and sharing skills with others. It is a place to improve a craft, try out risky and unconventional game design ideas, meet other developers, and above all, have fun.

Year after year, GAMERella offers the opportunity to meet more women, PoC and gender-non conforming people (as well as anyone who support minorities in the industry) interested in game development. TAG wishes not only to encourage underrepresented people and first-time game jammers to join in on the excitement, but also to celebrate the representation of diversity in the videogame community.

More info & 2016 news:


Gina Haraszti, Charlotte Fisher


Get Water!

Get Water!, 2013

Get Water! is an iPad, iPhone game that illuminates the global crisis for the most basic and universal need: water. You play as Maya, a young girl who is pulled out of school to fetch water for her family. In the style of other viral smartphone games, you collect water with your water pot and learn new skills to aid in your effort. Along the way, you learn important perspectives about water shortages and waste and become a more informed global citizen.





Decode Global


Get Water! and Social Impact

Get Water! and Social Impact, 2013

This is a research project for the Digilab and DiIt projects in GRAND NCE.  The game Get Water! is a gesture based endless runner game featuring Maya who lives in India and is pulled from school to get water for her family.  Get Water! is a simple, fun, and optimistic game intended to elicit conversation and increase awareness of the issues of global water scarcity and the effects on girls education.  Though the goal is complex, we are investigating the social impact of the game through various entry points.  This involves ethnographic research, media and communications analyses, a case study involving university students, and focus groups with young adolescents.  Does the game bring awareness to the issues effecting Maya’s life?  How do people respond to the game?  What are people saying about the game and how is information traveling through social media and networks?



Bart Simon, David I. Waddington, Renee Jackson


Emily Sheepy
Decode Global


Gets It Better: Poor, Ugly, Gay, Stupid, Sick

Gets It Better: Poor, Ugly, Gay, Stupid, Sick, 2012

Gets It Better, is a contemporary art board game designed to challenge received notions about games, art and the pursuit of happiness. By pushing the boundaries of procedural rhetoric, it simulates happiness in non-standard ways. It does so by modeling forms of self-worth in high school, the means of its production, along with various handicaps for its acquisition. The goal of the project is to deploy the game in high school classrooms to open discussions on factors contributing to suicide.




William Robinson, Renee Jackson


Symon Oliver
Lisa MacDonald



Incubator, 2011

The mission of the Montreal Games Incubator is to recognize and assist the next generation of video game developers, designers, visionaries and entrepreneurs in the realization and their games and the commercial launch of their companies.

A collaboration between Concordia University and Dawson College, The Montreal Games Incubator provides a creative space at the intersection between university-level interdisciplinary digital games research and creation programs, technical college-level programs, the independent game development sector, and the video games industry.


Indie Games Licensing for Libraries

Indie Games Licensing for Libraries, 2015-2016

Last year’s Arcade 11 brought an interesting mix of librarians, indie games developers as well as games scholars. Through conversations and exchanges of views, it quickly emerged that libraries required alternative models to make independent games available through their digital collections.

Purchasing born-digital copyrighted materials is a strong and emerging trend in libraries worldwide, but “general public” methods of dissemination do not offer the licensing and technological terms libraries require (Libraries cannot acquire born-digital materials from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon as it contradicts the licensing terms of these systems).

In that sense, the TAG team have set out to devise various prototyping models for the licensing and circulation of independent video games at libraries. The Knight Foundation has funded the creation of a video game console, which the prototype will be devised using over-the-counter inexpensive micro-computer components (with assistance from District 3). We will tap into the pool of graduate studens to build a seed collection of games for libraries as well as articulate some key knowledge points all librarians should know about digital games. Finally, we expect to test whether libraries are open to the idea of having these consoles circulate to users of their library system.


Olivier Charbonneau, Rilla Khaled, Pippin Barr, Bart Simon


Prem Sooriyakumar


Indie, Eh?

Indie, Eh?, 2012

This project focuses on understanding the people behind the games: game developers and their work.  Nancy Zenger is starting with a pilot study in Montreal, interviewing local independent game developers to learn about the evolving practices of digital labour.  Of course, Montreal is only the starting point. We'll be talking to independent developers in other cities as well.  This segues into larger project for the team: DIGILAB.

DIGILAB is short for Digital Labour: Authors, Institutions and New Media.  It’s part of the larger Graphics, Animation and New Media Centres of Excellence. GRAND NCE for short. GRAND is a research network  focused on growing Canada’s digital media sector. It links together computer scientists and engineers with artists, designers and social scientists, and develops ways for researchers to climb out of the ivory tower and partner with organizations and corporations.  It also looks to inform Canada’s digital media policy and practice.

The goal of the Indie, Eh project feeds into DIGILAB.  We want to better understand the values as well as the practical needs of independent game developers in Montreal.  And so, through interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, and other partnerships, we're busy gathering feedback from the local development community to inform future research directions and build stronger partnerships between TAG and the game industry.




Nancy Zenger, Jen Whitson, William Robinson, Bart Simon



Jarbles, 2014

Jarbles is a game about reconstructing audio compositions through touch interaction with tangible 3-D objects, designed for the iPad and iPhone. The design of Jarbles is based on the material objects used in the popular children’s games of jacks and marbles. The player must determine which pairs of jacks (audio components) go together and then combine them to form a marble. These marbles are further ordered by the player in order to solve sound puzzles.

jarbles banner


Jason Camlot, Ian Arawjo


FX Dupas, Taylan Ülgar


JEKA Games

JEKA Games, 2015-2016

JEKA GAMES is a blog project about journalism and gaming that aims to chronicle community interactions in the Montreal gaming community and explore different aspects of gaming from a lay person’s perspective. Other aspects of the project include managing social media surrounding the Montreal and international gaming communities in order to build relationships within these communities and pave the way for future collaboration. Some of the topics addressed on the blog are community events, gameplay, and indie game creation.



Jessica Marcotte, Max Stein

Learning Human Action Sequence Style from Video

Learning Human Action Sequence Style from Video,

The current project we are working on is focused on enhancing the standard motion graph algorithms. We are interested in utilizing transition frames presented in video data to inform the transition generation process in order to achieve more realistic transitions between actions. Video data is readily available, less intrusive and easy to produce compared to motion capture. Our algorithm is to reduce human interference during motion creation and improve the realism of the animation.


Kaustubha Mendhurwar, Sudhir Mudur


XiaoLong Chen



LEVEL UP!, 2014-2016

LEVEL UP! Is the well-known and well-loved workshop series that takes place here at TAG and it's back for another year. We'll announce the workshops as they happen, but come check out this project page for resources from past workshops too! For upcoming workshops, visit:

Past Workshops:

Makey-Makey by Ana Tavera Mendoza

Link to Makey-Makey drivers and Ana's helpful PowerPoint!

Twine by Kara Stone (offsite)

Audacity and Sound Design by Jessica Rose Marcotte

Stencyl by Rebecca Cohen Placois

PyxelEdit by Carolyn Jong

Click here to email us if you want to give a workshop of your own!


Rainforest Scully-Blaker, Gina Haraszti

Methods for the Analysis of Motion-based Video Gam...

Methods for the Analysis of Motion-based Video Games,

As part of the Graphics, Animation, and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE), we are working in collaboration with researchers at York University to evaluate a set of methods that can be applied to the study of motion-based video games, including games for Microsoft's Kinect, Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation Move. One of the methods we are investigating is an adapted form of participant-observation consisting of videotaped play sessions in which participants and researchers play games together in both cooperative and competitive modes. These sessions are bracketed by informal interviews and questionnaires designed to gather additional information about perceived gameplay experiences.


Carolyn Jong, Salvador Garcia-Martinez, Leif Penzendorfer



minDcraft, 2015

MINDCRAFT is hacked version of the famous game Minecraft that encourages the audience to think about questions surrounding sustainability, and the creation and destruction of cities, civilizations, and societies.


In its original form, Minecraft is a digital game that allows players to freely create, destroy, and explore in an open virtual world. At first, players build modest structures to protect themselves against the monsters that roam the wilds at night, but as the player’s mastery over the game grows, so does her ability to create something grand and lasting. The infinitely large game world contains infinite resources, and as such, players are free to dream up and construct impossible structures, convoluted machinery, labyrinthine gardens, or grandiloquent metropolises; the only limits are those of the imagination.

In this unbounded world, visitors are free to ignore the problems they have created with impunity; if an area has become deforested, barren, or polluted, players may simply move on to a fresh new area, rendering invisible their missteps and excesses as they fade beyond the horizon. By encouraging players to recklessly develop and exploit the game’s “natural” world, Minecraft harnesses and perpetuates perspectives that view the real world as an inexhaustible source of materials at the disposal of our consumptive desires. But what if Minecraft, rather than portraying a world of vast possibility and scant consequence, could be altered to focus on the opposite? How would the game change if the infinite world was made pressingly and inescapably finite?


Unlike in the original infinite world of Minecraft, this version presents players with a world heavily modded and reduced to a 100x100 block island in the void. Players have to give up their seats when they die in game, which encourages them to think about what they inherit and what they leave behind to the next player. By limiting the world, players cannot recklessly develop and exploit the game’s “natural” world, instead they find themselves in a world with ruins of castles and forts built by previous players. The lack of resources often makes the gameplay difficult but it also results in players starting to work together to replenish forests or build safe places.


On top of the continuation between players, our 100x100 block carries forward between exhibition sites as well. We are currently working on different forms of documentation that among others will help us understand player behaviour and possibly result in further research.

In March 2015, minDcraft was exhibited as part of Arcade 11, TAG's public arcade of experimental games for public enjoyment.

In May 2015 the project was presented at IDEAS CITY, a collaborative, civic, and creative enterprise, that builds on the New Museum’s mission of “New Art, New Ideas” by expanding the Museum beyond its walls into the civic realm.


Gina Haraszti, Joachim Despland, Pierson Browne

Morality and Digital Role-playing Games

Morality and Digital Role-playing Games,

This project investigates players’ perceptions of ethics and morality in their videogame play. Through semi-structured interviews Mia Consalvo and Carolyn Jong are investigating how players negotiate issues of representation, moral dilemmas, and morality systems in digital role-playing games. Some of the questions being explored through the project include:

• What choices do players commonly make in games, and how do they describe their reasons for making those choices?
• How do players role-play in games and how does this affect the decision-making process?
• How do players relate their in-game choices to the ethical codes and moral beliefs they maintain outside of the game?
• How does moral decision-making impact players’ affective responses to the events that take place in the game, and vice versa?
• What is the relation between in-game features such as companions, romance options, morality meters, and reputation systems, and players’ experiences of moral dilemmas?



Mia Consalvo, Carolyn Jong

Oracle Game Proposal

Oracle Game Proposal,

The goal of this project is to create a game that can be played at conferences and will encourage meaningful social interaction between players both on- and off-site. Team members include Mia Consalvo, Jane Tingley, Joachim Despland, and Carolyn Jong. Together the team designed a game called Oracle, which would allow those players that are unable to attend the conference but wish to contribute the chance to participate in the event by interacting with and aiding conference attendees/players. The game is intended to provide a platform for discussion, challenges, questions, and answers. The traces of these activities will form a final artifact representing the conference and the collective contribution of the players.

The game system is based on the idea of social recognition. During the game players create content and explore the content of others, while distributing and accumulating points. The point system allows players to attach value to content that they or others create, encouraging players to add new content and rewarding players who contribute in ways that are meaningful or valued by others. As players accumulate points, new functionalities in the game open up allowing players to have a stronger impact on the final artifact.


Mia Consalvo, Joachim Despland, Carolyn Jong, Jane Tingley



P.o.E.M.M. = Poetry for Excitable [Mobile] Media. The P.o.E.M.M. Cycle is a ten-part new media series exploring themes of language, authenticity and contingency. The works explore different strategies for both writing and reading using multi-touch and mobile devices, and how those strategies substantially expand the range of expression available to me as an artist. Each piece in the series includes a large-scale interactive touchwork for exhibition, a mobile interactive touchwork for tablets and for smartphones, and one or more large-scale prints made with software created by the artist.


Ian Arawjo, Jason Lewis


Bruno Nadeau, Christian Gratton, Chris Drogaris, Amanda Hui, Brian Li, Charles-Antoine Dupont, David Jhave Johnston


Play Along / Joue le jeu @ La Gaîté lyrique

Play Along / Joue le jeu @ La Gaîté lyrique, 2012

Play Along / Joue le Jeu showcases games as the broad, rich cultural phenomenon they now are. Forget the outdated idea that contemporary games are only blockbuster products with violent content and limited visual or narrative variety. This is a golden age of creative game design! With powerful and accessible new tools and technologies, and the immense potential of networked distribution, a thriving community of game designers is producing innovative new games that speak to both longstanding and emerging themes and styles. The Gaîté's introduction to this lively, varied world is brought to us by curators Lynn Hughes, Heather Kelley and Cindy Poremba. All three women design games themselves and have been recognized for their creative work and testimony itself to the way games are changing.


Lynn Hughes, Cindy Poremba, Heather Kelley



Propinquity, 2013

Propinquity is a full-body game that is a hybrid between fighting and dancing games. Two players wear proximity sensors on different body parts and as they move to the music, different sensors patches on their bodies light up to indicate when they are active. The players attempt to get as close as possible to active patches on the other player's body to score points. The longer s(he) can stay "in the sweet spot" (but without actually touching), the higher the resulting score.

Part of the IndieCade 2013 Official Selection.


Lynn Hughes, Bart Simon, Jane Tingley


The Modern Nomads:
Jane Tingley, Anouk Wipprecht, Marius Kintel
Severin Smith

past contributors:
Steffanie Schirmer
Amanda Williams
Bruno Nadeau



SKINS, 2015

Skins is a video game workshop for Aboriginal youth offered by an Aboriginally determined team of game designers, artists and educators known as AbTeC. The unique curriculum begins with traditional storytelling and proceeds to teach participants how to tell a story in a very new way--as a video game. With that foundation in place, the students then learn important skills for the production of video games and virtual environments, such as game design, art direction, 3D modeling and animation, sound, and computer programming.


Skawennati Fragnito, Jason Lewis, Amanda Williams, Mohannad Al-Khatib


Owisokon P. Lahache, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Mathew McNeill, Darwin Frost, Teyowisonte Thomas Deer, Beth Aileen Lameman, Robert Brais, Nancy Elizabeth Townsend, Sahar Homami, Charlotte Fisher, Ramy Daghstani, Chris Drogaris, Shawn Mullen, Tehoniehtathe Delisle



Snek, 2013

Snek. is Snake! With better music! And really awkward controls! Learn to love turning your iDevice around and around in your hands! Tilt your screen away from you and realize you can't see what's happening anymore! Thrust your device in all directions and get a great workout! Snek.!

Snek. was written in Objective-C using Apple XCode 4.6 and the Kobold2D library. The kick drum and snare sounds are from Snek. works on iPhones, iPods and iPads that have a gyroscope. You should make a video of yourself playing and send it to me.


Pippin Barr


Street Level

Street Level, 2012

Street Level is a research-creation project for sidewalk accessible arcade-format videogames. The project is currently being funded by Concordia's Centre for Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG), as part of the PLAYPR project (GRAND-NCE). Games will use Microsoft's Kinect motion tracking peripheral through vacant storefront windows, with games playing on projectors or large-scale monitors inside.


Cindy Poremba




superHYPERCUBE, from Kokoromi, is a game about holes, and cubes that love them. It explores the vast, mostly unexplored TRON-like tundra of stereoscopy and head tracking in games. Originally produced for GAMMA 3D in Montreal, superHYPERCUBE is a public installation that literally takes the classic game Tetris into the third dimension as you try to rotate increasingly complex cube constellations to fit into a series of rectilinear holes. Presented as an art game, SuperHYPERCUBE's well-designed 3D mechanics are leveraged to create unique and inventive puzzles on par with mainstream games in the genre. This Kinect Hack version was prepared as a TAG / PLAYPR / Kokoromi / Polytron collaboration for Indiecade 2011. The game was an indiecade finalist.


Kaustubha Mendhurwar, Cindy Poremba, Heather Kelley


Phil Fish, Renaud Bedard

Tangible User Interfaces and Metaphors for 3D

Tangible User Interfaces and Metaphors for 3D,

Beginning of the project was marked by the creation of the 3D interaction metaphor of navigational puppetry, and implementation into a tangible user interface prototype, The Navi-Teer, which afforded basic navigation within a virtual world. The preliminary goal was to attempt to blur the lines between the 'action' and 'perception' of the navigation activity and to blend egocentric and exocentric control. The prototype was further augmented to behave as a 3D soundscape modelling and experience tool allowing the user to yield unique 'spatial' 3D audio mixes through the act of navigation. Building on this research, the current aim is to explore the tangible and gestural elements of new areas of creatively biased 3D interactions. The focus is on the theoretical end of interaction metaphor design interface prototyping 'gesturally' flesh out his puppeteering metaphor into a complete 3D interaction solution and implement it through a simple prototype to look at 3D interaction in support of creative output like sound editing or visual art or animation.


Andrew Blakney, Sudhir Mudur


The Alpine Garden MisGuide

The Alpine Garden MisGuide, 2015

The Alpine Garden MisGuide is a locative media app set in the Alpine Garden at the Montreal Botanical Garden (MBG). Download the app to explore the relationship between the history of alpine garden design and colonial plant hunting.

The app invites you on a plant-hunting journey using a GPS enabled compass to locate QR codes installed in the garden. Using the in-app vintage camera, scan these QR codes in sequence to unlock botanical drawings linked to archival photos, texts, and recorded conversations and readings, about the history of alpine garden design and colonial botanical exploration. Collect all nine QR codes to complete a jigsaw puzzle, and be sure to press some flowers in your herbarium along way — when you leave the garden, you will retain the drawings, sound recordings and photos you have gathered.

In addition to animating your visit to the Alpine Garden in a new way, the MisGuide app also includes insight into the garden’s history and the work that goes into maintaining its plants and contemporary design. Alpine garden design strives to create an environment that imitates the landscapes and growing conditions required for exotic alpine plants to thrive in their transplanted locations. Rock and alpine gardens reached the height of popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, a craze that was fueled by accounts of botanical heroism recorded by colonial plant hunters such as Frank Kingdon-Ward and Reginald J. Farrer. The MisGuide reflects on how these plant hunters were transformed by their experiences in the mountains of South and Central Asia, and considers how this influenced their approach to rock and alpine garden design back at home.

alpine pippin

Visitors to the Alpine Garden at the Montreal Botanical Garden are encouraged to download the app before their visit, and to use earphones to enhance their experience of the recorded material. The Alpine Garden MisGuide is designed for iPhone 4 or later. Once downloaded, Wi-Fi or data services are not required for you to use the app in the garden.

Grab your compass….Ready? Go!


Jill Didur, Ian Arawjo, Amanda Tom


The Oldest Game

The Oldest Game, 2015

“The Oldest Game” (working title) is a web-based newsgame that explores the complex issue of the legalization of the sex trade in Ontario and Quebec.  Drawing inspiration from games such as Budget Hero, in which players learn the parameters of a complex system, and from role-playing games that provoke empathy and identification, “The Oldest Game” focuses on the motivations on the debate over legalized prostitution.  This debate was most recently in the news when three prostitution laws that were up for dispute in the Ontario Court of Appeal (ruling made in March 2012).   The game seeks to address a crucial flaw in the media coverage: news articles, in trying to portray a sense of impartiality, often set up a false ‘balance’ between those against changing the laws and those in favor of changing them. Our game seeks to move beyond this polarized style of issue coverage, immersing the player in the complexity of the issue while making them aware of the tensions between the competing narratives used to frame prostitution: on one hand, as a moral issue, on the other, as an issue of labour rights.


Lisa Lynch, Sandra Gabriele


Amanda Feder

The Secret Life of Software

The Secret Life of Software,

We're told that the mark of good software is that it is so seamless and intuitive to use that it becomes a natural extension of our body.  In doing so, we effectively 'erase' the hundreds of people and their labour that go into making that software.

This ethnographic project looks at the secret life of game software. We examine the day-to-day lived experiences of game developers in a number of domains:  within large MMO companies like Funcom, in mid-size game incubator start-ups like Execution Labs, and in the smaller indie projects undertaken within TAG. Central questions of this project include:

  • What does game development really look like?
  • How do interns learn how to be developers?
  • How do developers collaborate in small teams?
  • What does work look like in different sectors of the industry?
  • How do values get embedded into design?
  • How do developers deal with the precarious labour that characterizes the game industry?
  • How might an appreciation of games be enriched by a deeper understanding of the people who make these games?




Jen Whitson, Bart Simon



Victorianator, 2011

Victorianator is an iPhone game that explores the use of gesture to trigger synthetic effects upon speech. Gesture was a significant part of recitation (reading poetry out loud) during the Victorian era in the 19th Century. We have taken specific gestures as prescribed in Victorian elocution manuals and have put them at the core of our gameplay. The player records one of three Victorian poems in monotone, and then, using these Victorian elocutionary gestures, triggers Victorian style elocutionary effects upon the recording.


Jason Camlot, Stéphanie Bouchard, Mohannad Al-Khatib, Michael Fortin, Jeremy Valentin Freeman


Henk Boom


Your Place or Minecraft?

Your Place or Minecraft?, 2016


This unique machinima web series documents one of the most modded Minecraft servers in the world, where the players are all game scholars. The server is run under the roof of Concordia University's two game research centres: mLab & TAG. The players are students and faculty, whose real life objectives and interactions create a fascinating power dynamic within the game.

[embed width="600" height="338"][/embed]


Gina Haraszti