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UOIT and Waterloo presenting October international gamification conference

Brainstorming collage on paper about gamification techniques and approaches.
Brainstorming collage on paper about gamification techniques and approaches.

The explosion of digital technology in the 21st century has given rise to a wide range of new areas of IT research and introduced gamification - which describes the use of game design in a range of tasks (often in a non-game context) to solve problems or make the game experience more fun, engaging and motivating.

Advances in gamification have spawned an entirely new sector in digital media which could ultimately evolve into a billion-dollar industry. Growth projections suggest half of all companies will use or apply gamification technology by 2015. At the same, gamification research has only just begun.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is highly engaged with cutting-edge gamification research and teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Using games for the greater good to improve people's lives, UOIT is training the next generation of these powerful game developers.

In addition to developing strong ties with the gamification industry, UOIT's Laboratory for Games and Media Entertainment Research (GAMER Lab) has also built a powerful academic partnership with the University of Waterloo's Stratford Campus. And as leaders in this expanding new sector, UOIT and and Waterloo will proudly present Gamification 2013 - an international conference from October 2 to 4 in Stratford, Ontario.

"Gamification 2013 is the kind of event that the gamification research field needs right now," said Dr. Lennart Nacke, Research Director of the UOIT GAMER Lab. "In the past, researchers have battled over how to define applied game design in systems and services. We have a unique opportunity with Gamification 2013 to combine UOIT's academic knowledge with industry applications and explore gamification research in full."

Gamification 2013 will showcase current academic research in gamification, opening the door for discussion around the growth of the industry. The conference will cover a range of academic and industry research specifically aligned to expand the effective implementation of gamification in business, health, education and entertainment.

"Gamification 2013 allows us to showcase the depth of research that the University of Waterloo is doing in this field which will become the foundation for the future of gamification," said Neil Randall, Director of the Games Institute at the University of Waterloo. "We've barely scratched the surface of gamification research, so to offer an academic approach, partnered with industry, is unique and really allows us to look at where this new business sector can go."

"UOIT's GAMER Lab is the fertile ground where technology, design and psychology research can grow and great game ideas are born," said Dr. Nacke. "UOIT is one of the leaders in gamification research in the world. Our researchers have co-organized workshops at the world's leading human-computer interaction conferences, and we are proud to play a key role at Gamification 2013."

About Gamification 2013

Gamification 2013, in co-operation with the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) will be hosted by the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus on October 2 to 4, 2013. It is supported by academic and industry partners including, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Games Institute, GAMER Lab, GRAND and IMMERSe.