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Creating IMMERSe—the Interactive and Multi-Modal Experience Research Syndicate

At the University of Waterloo, Neil Randall founded and directs the SSHRC-funded IMMERSe (Interactive and Multi-Modal Experience Research Syndicate). An innovative research partnership, IMMERSe looks at a range of digital gaming issues, with studies focusing on player immersion, player presence, player relationships and player addiction.

Under Randall’s direction, IMMERSe brings together a collaborative, multidisciplinary network of researchers in the humanities, social sciences, engineering and computer science, across eight universities and numerous collaborations in academia and industry. Partners include University of Waterloo, McMaster University, Carleton University, Concordia University and the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology, together with Microsoft, Electronic Arts, University of California Davis and USC Institute for Creative Technologies.

This project is encouraging significant academic-industry collaboration in a high-growth sector, providing extensive training of graduate and undergraduate students in research and industry careers, and mobilizing the knowledge and insights emerging from the project—not only for the benefit of gamers, but for communities, governments, media and entertainment companies as well.