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 research and design housed in the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. 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