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 (GEM, 2014 - 2016),  and last year’s event held at the National University of Ireland Galway, we are excited to announce the 2019 IEEE GEM conference will be hosted at the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, at Yale University.  This year’s conference will include a new platform for the exhibition of performances and experiences that utilize the 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.




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.

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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.

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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.


News & Updates







Deadline: Feb. 24, 2019

The IEEE Submission portal is now open. Please refer to the submission guidelines and link below.


Conference Research Themes

The main conference themes for this year are serious and applied games for health and wellness, interactive or immersive experiences with a special focus on experiences emphasizing the unique properties of the mediums utilized, and pedagogy and methodology for education utilizing motion capture, VR, AR, and other immersive media.  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.

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. The main conference tracks are:

Academic Research Themes

•       GEM in the Cloud

•       Mobile & Wearable Technologies for GEM

•       Augmented & Virtual Reality in GEM

•       Social and Economic Aspects of Digital GEM

•       Societal & Behavioural Impacts of GEM

•       Medical Applications of GEM

•       Augmented Spaces for GEM

•       Emerging Technologies:

o   User Interface

o   Location-Awareness

o   Touch & Haptics

o   Motion Capture

o   Distributed Intelligence

•       eSports

•       Serious Gaming

•       Education & Learning through GEM

•       Artificial Intelligence in GEM

o   AI Engines & Accelerators

o   Deep Learning & Neural Networks


The GEM 2019 exhibition invites artists, researchers, and creative technologists to submit engaging, expressive, and experimental interactive media projects utilizing game technology, AR/VR/XR, interactive installation, 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 either be finished or in late stages of production. Submission for the exhibition can be in one of three formats:

  1. 10 still images (jpg, png, gif)

  2. 1 Video five minutes or less (mp4)

  3. 5 images and 1 Video two minutes or less

Submissions must also include a CV (3 pages max), and 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)

Industry Research Themes

•    GEM Design, Development & User Experience

•    Serious Gaming & Industry Applications

•    Practical Case Studies of GEM

•    GEM Platforms & Infrastructure

•    Standards & Open-Source GEM

Peer & Invited Contributions

Peer-Reviewed Contributions (Academic)

•    Long/Short Paper + Oral Presentation (20 mins)

•    Long Paper + Poster

Peer-Reviewed Contributions (Industry)

•    Long Oral Presentation (PPT slides, 20 mins)

•    Industry Demo (Tabletop - Slides optional)

Invited Contributions

•    Keynote Talk (PPT slides, 30-45 mins)

•    Panel Session

•    Special Oral Session (3-5 long papers)

•    Special Poster Session (8+ posters)

•    Tutorials & Hand-on Workshops

•    Special Exhibitions

Plenary Keynote Sessions:

GEM will feature 6 plenary keynote sessions. Details will be available shortly on the conference website.

Publication Opportunities:

The conference proceedings 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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