JUNE 18-22, 2019

Continuing the grand tradition & broadening the scope of the IEEE International Games Innovation Conference (IGIC, 2009 - 2013), IEEE Games Entertainment & Media Conference (GEM, 2014 - 2016), and GEM 2018 held at the National University of Ireland Galway, we are excited to announce that IEEE GEM 2019 will be hosted at the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, at Yale University. GEM 2019 includes a new platform for the exhibition of performances, artworks, and experiences that utilize emerging fields of Motion Capture, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality with a particular emphasis on pedagogy in these areas.




The Games, Entertainment and Media (GEM) Conference began in London in 2009, and moved to venues in the US and Canada until 2016. In 2018 the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society re-booted GEM outside of North America for the first time in a decade at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).  Returning to North America for 2019 we are thrilled to have Yale University as the host institution.

Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.

In hosting the IEEE GEM conference, Yale draws together its deep connection with the arts and the sciences to create a dynamic and experiential conference that bridges technological advances with the compelling humanistic and creative concerns that drive them.

Yale’s long history and international community will provide an ideal venue for conversations and collaborations between researchers, designers, artists, and makers from all parts of the globe.



GEM encompasses all aspects of interactive digital media ranging from game design, theoretical advances in algorithmic and mathematical techniques, new enabling technologies, advanced consumer electronics systems, and novel sensing technologies such as motion capture. Our goal is also to consider the social, political, cultural, and philosophical impacts of applying these technologies. GEM is for scientists, engineers, artists, psychologists, sociologists, designers, makers, mathematicians, creatives, programmers and game researchers of all disciplines, united in their interest and enthusiasm for exploring digital games, interactive entertainment, immersive experiences, emerging media, and the significant uses and impacts these technologies have on our lives.



Ece Tankal
Carmen Aguilar y Wedge
Ashley Baccus Clark


Hyphen-Labs is an international collective working at the intersection of technology, art, science, and the future. Through their global vision and multi-disciplinary backgrounds they are driven to create engaging ways to explore planetary-centered design.

Hyphen-Labs designs and builds robust transmedia experiences by combining digital and physical mediums ranging in scale from small products and prototypes to large architectural pavilions and installations. Through their creative practice and artistic commissions, they blend architecture, speculative and interactive design, digital arts, fashion, creative writing, and film through new media and emerging technologies.

Hyphen-Labs is Ece Tankal, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, and Ashley Baccus Clark, and an international team of engineers, scientists, architects, and artists creating at the intersection of art and emerging technology. Ece Tankal is a Turkish born designer and new media artist based in London. Ece is interested in exploring interventions and interaction related to bodily, spatial and temporal concepts through mixed media installations, virtual reality experiences and speculative design. Trained in architecture, her approach is to place the viewer as a natural extension of the digital topographies she creates to expand and stretch the reality we currently occupy. She is a co-founder of Hyphen-Labs.

Carmen Aguilar y Wedge is a latinx structural engineer and artist synthesizing design and technology to develop immersive - transmedia experiences. Inspired by the translation of concepts to material expressions visualized through an aesthetic framework of science fiction, futurism, and surrealism her work expands on the principles of emotional design. She is a co-founder and creative director at Hyphen-Labs.

Ashley Baccus Clark is a Brooklyn-based Molecular and Cellular Biologist and multidisciplinary artist who uses new media and storytelling to explore themes of deep learning, cognition, memory, race, trauma, and systems of belief. She currently consults in virtual reality production and is working on her first feature.

In her work with Hyphen-Labs, Ash served as the Director of Research, writing and producing an award-winning immersive installation project, NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism (NSAF), a three-part digital narrative that sits at the intersection of product design, virtual reality, and neuroscience that was originally inspired by the lack of multidimensional representations of Black women in technology. NSAF incorporates object-based design, virtual reality, and cognitive impact research that reimagines the future of Black women in STEM fields.

NSAF first premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2017 and has been shown at Sundance Film Fest, SXSW, Tribeca Film Fest (Jury Honorable Mention), Gray Area Art & Technology Festival, Primer Speculative Futures Conference, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Stony Island Arts Bank & Rebuild Foundation, New Inc: Versions Festival, Refinery 29's 29 Rooms, and more.

Previously, Ash served as a brand manager on the retail brand management team of Warby Parker and worked as a molecular biologist researching cell and developmental biology with an emphasis on stem cell research.


Angela Washko

Tactical Embodiment (Performance and Activism in Hostile Online Environments)

Angela Washko is an artist, writer and facilitator devoted to creating new forums for discussions of feminism in spaces frequently hostile toward it. Washko's practice spans interventions in mainstream media, performances in digital environments, video and video game development. She is committed to telling complex and unconventional stories about the media we consume from unusual perspectives.  Since 2012, Washko has operated The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, an ongoing intervention inside the most popular online role-playing game of all time. She is currently working on an experimental documentary film about drag queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race reality television contestant Mrs. Kasha Davis.

A recipient of a Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, a Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art at the Frontier Grant, Rhizome Internet Art Microgrant, and the 2018 Impact Award at Indiecade, Washko's practice has been highlighted in The New Yorker, Frieze Magazine, Time Magazine, The Guardian, ArtForum, Art in America, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, more. Her projects have been presented nationally and internationally at venues including Museum of the Moving Image (New York), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Milan Design Triennale, the Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennial, the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Angela Washko is an Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.

Alex Thayer.jpg

Alex Thayer

Mixed reality, brain interfaces, and irascible artists: Applying the Anne Frank House, SETI, and Salvator Rosa to the future of immersive experiences

Alex Thayer, PhD is the Chief Experience Architect for the Immersive Experiences Lab at HP. Thayer has a PhD in Human Centered Design & Engineering from the University of Washington plus degrees in Technical Communication and Art History. For the Immersive Experiences Lab, Alex guides research efforts around the future of mixed reality, 3D and 4D printing, and other topic areas at the intersection of people, practice, experience, and technology. Alex has also taught and published extensively in the areas of sociocultural impact and design of digital games, novel sensing and interaction models, user experience design and research, and the post-digital world of physical and digital tools and artifacts. Alex has over 20 years of professional experience in the tech industry at companies including IBM, Microsoft, Google, Intel, and VMware.


Anna Dyson

Inverted Embodiments: Projection of Environmental Ecosystems through Human Biometrics

Anna Dyson is the Hines Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture and Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies, at Yale University. In her role, Dyson directs the scholarship and research of the joint degree program, and will expand this graduate program to include PhD level funded research in Architectural Sciences / Built Ecologies.

Dyson is also the founding Director of the Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture (CEA) within Rudolph Hall to connect to other interdisciplinary labs on campus towards the vigorous research, development and deployment of novel architectural systems that are focused on reinventing the DNA of the built fabric in order to take on the challenge of metabolizing energy, water and materials within architecture in radically new ways.

Anna Dyson has been a professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she founded the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology (CASE) in Manhattan with Skidmore Owings and Merrill LLP in 2006. CASE hosts the PhD program in Architectural Sciences/Built Ecologies (BE), which has received multiple honors, including an Award of Excellence in pedagogy from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and the award for most innovative academic program from the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) in 2012. Over the last decade, the BE program has distinguished itself by competitively winning awards for design research from multiple sponsors such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and from private sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the San Francisco Foundation, and others.

Recipient of the Innovator Award from Architectural Record in 2015, Dyson holds many international patents on building systems innovations for the collection and distribution of clean energy, water, air quality and material life cycle. Her work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The World Future Energy Summit (WFES), and The Center for Architecture. Designs for novel systems have been recognized with over twenty awards, including a 1st prize from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for the Integrated Concentrating Solar Façade and Climate Camouflage systems, multiple Architect R&D for systems including the Solar Enclosure for Water Reuse (SEWR) and the Active Modular Phytoremediation System (AMPS). Multiple systems are being deployed, with the AMPS system recently installed into the Public Safety Answering Center (PSAC II) in the Bronx, included in the Best Architecture of 2017 by the Wall St. Journal, as the first full scale test of the production of fresh air from within a building through plant-based air handling systems.

Kimberly Hieftje.jpg

Kimberly Hieftje, PhD

Virtual Reality and Health PROMOTION: a Unique Opportunity to Bring VR to Schools

Dr. Hieftje is a Research Scientist at the Yale School of Medicine and the Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games, which focuses on the development and evaluation of videogame interventions for health prevention and promotion, behavior change, and education in adolescents and young adults. Dr. Hieftje is also the Deputy Director of the play2PREVENT Lab and Director of the play4REAL Lab at the center, which focuses on the use of VR/AR/XR in games. She is currently involved in the development and testing of several health behavior change videogames and has published frequently on developing, evaluating, and implementing serious games. She has worked on games that have focused on topics including JUUL/e-c-cigarette prevention, tobacco use prevention, risk reduction in adolescents, HIV/STI prevention, HIV/STI testing, empowering young women around sexual health, bystander intervention, LGBTQ bullying, school climate, and increasing math skills in first graders. 

Most recently, Dr. Hieftje received a gift from Oculus to fully develop and evaluate smokeSCREEN VR, a VR videogame intervention focused on JUUL/e-cigarette prevention in teens developed by the play4REAL Lab in partnership with PreviewLabs, Inc. Created for the Oculus Go, the game uses voice recognition software to allow players to practice refusing peers in real time. With her team at the play4REAL Lab, she will conduct a randomized controlled trial with 230 teens, following them for six months to see if playing smokeSCREEN VR impacted their behaviors, attitudes, intentions, and social perceptions of JUUL/e-cigarettes. Additionally, the team will explore how VR can be leveraged to create the feeling of social pressure in simulated high-risk social situations involving peers. 

Dr. Hieftje is also a K12 Scholar in the Yale Implementation Science program (YSIS), where she will collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from teachers and students on the implementation of a web-based videogame intervention focused on tobacco use prevention with the goal of better understanding the factors associated with successful implementation of videogames in schools.



WORKSHOP: Constructing Meaningful Action in Virtual Spaces (THE Verb Collective)

Drawing inspiration from conceptual art practices, participants will develop practical skill sets to create interactive musical instruments in VR.

WORKSHOP: Business Modeling in GEM

This workshop will provide participants with an introduction to the process of turning their GEM product into a viable business by evaluating different strategies for success.

Workshop leaders:  Bernard Francois of Preview Labs (previewlabs.com) and Martin Wainstein, PhD, Innovator in Residence  at the Tsai Center for Innovation at Yale and Founder of Yale Open Innovation Lab (openlab@yale.edu) will discuss how to determine if your product has a market, how to research the target audience, and how to outline a business plan. 

What are the unique selling points? What is your value proposition? Find out in this 4-hour workshop June 18th. 

The first half of the workshop is a discussion of how new technologies have upended traditional paradigms of business models and how new ones in Games Entertainment Media are evolving.

The second part is a series of practical, hands-on exercises where participants will start defining the components of their business canvas, target audience, and point-of-sale. Participants will apply different models to their concepts through group brainstorming sessions. These exercises will include how to test your model borrowing from rapid prototyping techniques.

Participants will leave with a framework and practical ideas for their own personal project and a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the current marketplace.


News & Updates





EXTENDED Deadline: MAR. 31, 2019

The IEEE Submission portal is now open. We are accepting papers, projects and proposals. Please refer to the submission guidelines below. The SUBMIT link will take you to the EDAS submission portal where applicants will complete and submit the application. Before submitting please review the specific requirements for each track.


Conference Research Themes

GEM (Games Entertainment and Media) encompasses all aspects of interactive digital media ranging from game design, theoretical advances in algorithmic and mathematical techniques, new enabling technologies, advanced consumer electronics systems, and novel sensing technologies such as motion capture. Our goal is also to consider the social, political, cultural, and philosophical impacts of applying these technologies. GEM is for scientists, engineers, artists, psychologists, sociologists, designers, makers, mathematicians, creatives, programmers and game researchers of all disciplines, united in their interest and enthusiasm for exploring digital games, interactive entertainment, immersive experiences, emerging media, and the significant uses and impacts these technologies have on our lives.

The main conference themes for this year are interactive or immersive experiences, serious and applied games for health and wellness, and sensing technologies for pedagogy and research. Additional themes include immersive visualization, experimental interfaces for VR/AR and immersive environments, spatial sound, medical and healthcare applications for GEM, projects and demonstrations in VR/AR, projects and demonstrations with motion capture, wearables and tactile interfaces, education and learning through GEM, machine learning and AI in GEM, serious and STEM games, design and user experience, industry applications for serious gaming, practical case studies and standards and open-source for GEM. Each of these themes engages a broad array of both technological and cultural considerations that ranges in scope from machine learning and computer vision to the social and political implications of an expanded definition of reality.

The conference will also feature a curated exhibition of works that reflect the conference themes. Artists interested in submitting to be part of the exhibition should follow the instructions listed in the exhibition track below.

GEM delegates are encouraged to submit original research works exploring these new, emerging possibilities to create exciting, engaging, authentic digital gaming and interactive-media experiences for end-users.


Please note that review papers are due on the submission deadlines but additional time will be allotted for full length paper submissions after the review process.

  • Immersive Visualizations

  • Experimental Interfaces for VR/AR and Immersive Environments

  • Spatial Sound

  • Serious and Applied Games for Health and Wellness

  • Medical and Healthcare applications for GEM

  • Standards and Open-Source GEM

  • Full Papers for Augmented and Virtual Reality

  • Sensing Technologies for Pedagogy and Research

  • New Performance Practices

  • Wearables and Tactile Interfaces

  • Education and Learning through GEM

  • Machine Learning and AI in GEM

  • Serious and STEM Games

  • Design, Development and User Experience in GEM

  • Industry Applications for Serious Gaming

  • Practical Case Studies

  • Dissertations and Early Stage Research

For the following tracks we are accepting project proposals with demos

  • Projects and Demonstrations in VR/AR

  • Projects and Demonstrations with Motion Capture

If submitting artwork to the curated exhibition, please use these submission guidelines.

Curated Exhibition - The GEM 2019 exhibition, curated by Nicholas O’Brien, invites artists to submit engaging, expressive, and experimental interactive media projects utilizing game technology, AR/VR/XR, interactive installation, performance and media works that reflect on contemporary technology. The title (and prompt) for this year’s exhibition is Is this thing on?

Submissions for this category should uploaded as a single PDF and should include the following items. Please save your PDF as LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.pdf. All videos should be linked in the PDF. The PDF should be no larger than 8MB.

  1. Title

  2. One sentence to describe your project

  3. Project Description (400 words max)

  4. Technical Specifications for Project (200 words max)

  5. Please include at least one of the following in your proposal. Please include a numbered image list for your submissions that include title, date of completion, dimensions, and media format (PDF). All documents must formatted: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_imageNumber/documentType (e.g. Smith_Julie_1.jpg or Smith_Julie_CV.pdf)

    • 5 still images (jpg, png, gif)

    • 1 Video five minutes or less (mp4)

    • 52 images and 1 Video two minutes or less

  6. CV of artist or collaboration (3 pages max)

General Paper Guidelines

Please note that all accepted papers will have the option of showcasing examples of their projects in VR, AR, or as a playable game so long as our facilities can meet the requirements. A track with an extended deadline exists for submission of demos related to papers and can be submitted after the review process.

Review Papers (2 page min) are to be submitted by March 10th.

End-May is the deadline for submitting your final camera-ready PDF and IEEE copyright form; we encourage you to improve your original manuscript and develop a 4-10 page camera-ready paper; please note that you should check the camera-ready paper is compatible with IEEE Xplore. You can find out about IEEE PDF express tools here: https://www.ieee.org/conferences/publishing/pdfexpress.html

If you prefer to use presentation slides that is also possible but you should ensure these are uploaded by end May; please contact ckorbert@ieee.org if you need assistance. Charlotte can also help with invitation letters if you cannot access these on EDAS, etc.

Paper Submission:

Each paper must be within the scope and topics of IEEE GEM 2019, explain the significance of the technologies/methods/applications in the paper, and contain a list of key references.
Submissions should be in A4 standard IEEE two-column format. For your convenience, the Conference Paper templates in various formats are available through the following link:

Paper Templates

Paper Length: Up to 10 pages for long papers and up to 4 pages for short paper including figures and references without exceptions. A 2-page extended abstract will be accepted for the initial review process. However, we would look for 4-page for final academic papers.

Academic Papers are not required for Industry and Special Sessions; Presenters can provide their presentations (slides) instead for publication on IEEE Explore.

Publication Opportunities:

The conference proceedings, if approved, may be published in IEEE Xplore as well as other Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) databases.

In addition, there will be opportunities for special sections in several IEEE Journals and technical Magazines including:

•       IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics

•       IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine

•       IEEE Technology in Society Magazine  

Immersive, Interactive, and Experiential Sessions:

GEM has a tradition of emphasizing new and emerging technologies and their role in improving and enhancing the user experience, interactivity and social aspects of gaming and interactive media.

This year we will have numerous interactive works and experiences that demonstrate  the broad range of possibilities available to those exploring emerging media. Special emphasis will be on experiences that are not replicating pre-existing technologies but rather exploring the expanding vocabulary and new possibilities inherent to nascent media.

Several industry-led sessions with a focus on new audio & display technologies and other novel approaches to providing enhanced and augmented interactive spaces will be announced shortly on the main conference website.

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