The Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) Research Centre is Canada’s largest and most-established games research centre, a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration in digital game studies and design. We focus on the convergent interests of faculty and students in the context of the worldwide development of the vibrant new fields of digital game studies and game design. More broadly, digital games serve as a collectively recognizable, relevant and shared focal object through which to analyze and creatively address such issues as interactivity, virtuality, consumption, leisure and play, digital narrative, interface design, new media literacy, mediated social action, and the role of technology in everyday life. In short, TAG’s mandate is to develop and expand methods, models and concepts for the analysis, critique and creation of digital games, gameplay and game cultures, as well as to contribute to broader social, political, technical and aesthetic conversations (academic and public) about the shape and direction of contemporary digital culture.
TAG is also conceived as a conduit for collaboration between academic researchers at Concordia and those beyond the university in industry, as well as other relevant and interested publics. We have sustained relationships with organizations such as the City of Montreal, les Bibliothèques de Montréal, the Mount Royal Game Society, GamePlaySpace, Pixelles and many others. Recurrent events have included Arcade 11, GAMERella, Global Game Jam and Critical Hit. There is also as well as a constant stream of other more ephemeral events.
Part of the draw of TAG relates to our physical location in Montreal, widely acknowledged as being amongst the top cities in the world for game development. As home to high profile large game studios including Ubisoft, Warner Brothers, EA, Square Enix, as well as many small independent game studios such as KO_OP and Kitfox Games, Montreal draws a steady crowd of experts and specialists working on games and playful media, which TAG has often benefited from in terms of visitors, collaborations, and research opportunities. In short, TAG is Canada’s primary reference for established game research and is well known and admired internationally.
TAG is a highly diverse research environment, including work on:
- Cultural studies of games
- The relation between games and broader transmedia systems, new media and new media art
- Game cultures and player studies
- Play and Materiality
- Alternative and experimental games
- Community building and design for inclusion
- Game industries: labour, journalism and distribution platforms
- Intellectual Property and pop culture in games
- Imaginative and alternative approaches to serious or applied games
- Game/new media curation
TAG faculty membership is normally decided by a consensus vote of the TAG executive board based on a nomination by an existing TAG faculty member. In order to be accepted as a TAG core member the faculty candidate must demonstrate interest and support for the mandate of the centre and for TAG related research and events.
Associate membership will be decided by the Director in consultation with the executive and/or advisory boards. Associate membership will usually be by invitation of the Director although any interested candidate may request consideration for associate membership.
Student membership is determined in the same manner as associate membership although it will usually be the case that students will have worked, or be working with, a TAG faculty member or on a TAG project as well as participating in TAG events for at least one term before becoming a member. All TAG faculty can request automatic membership for the students they supervise.
STUDYING AT TAG
If you want to study at TAG, there are 3 different way to do it :
- The Individualized PhD, MA and MSc programs ; The INDI program requires that students identify an interdisciplinary committee consisting of a main Supervisor and 2 other faculty members for their committee in order to apply. Students wanting to work at TAG normally have a TAG faculty member as Supervisor. The other two faculty members can come from any area in the university. We suggest that games research students who have a practice based / design component to their degree apply to this program. For more info click here.
- The Humanities PhD ; This PhD program is similar to the INDI program in so far as it requires prospective students to identify a supervisor and 2 other faculty members to work with. In this case, however, these committee members should be from the Faculty of Fine Arts or Arts and Sciences. Once again TAG students usually have supervisors who are TAG faculty members. For more info click here.
- Apply for a PhD or MA program in a department -for example, Sociology, English, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Education, Design Art (MDes) etc-where you can work with a TAG faculty member as your supervisor. Occasionally TAG also welcomes students whose research is relevant to the Center but whose supervisor is not an active member.
If, after consulting the relevant departmental or program websites, you have further questions about studying at TAG , please contact the lab coordinator.
Our safer space policy is currently under revision. The last version is available here.
Read or download this selection of our recent projects, assembled in 2016.