Research and Industry Projects

This page lists the different projects that are associated with KMDI-Semaphore, providing a general picture of the body of work conducted at KMDI-Semaphore.

Accessibility Arcade (Adrian Petterson and Professor Sara Grimes)

The Accessibility Arcade project brings together industry members, disabled gamers, and associated communities to create an inclusive gaming space in the KMDI Makerspace. The researchers have consulted with prominent disabled gamer influencers like Steve Saylor (the Blind Gamer) and Little Navi. AAA studios to indie game companies have partnered with the space to share knowledge and grow awareness around inclusive gaming. 

During the COVID 19 pandemic, researchers from the Accessibility Arcade are exploring how to create and grow an inclusive gaming community through online events, blogs, and game jams. The project focuses on co-design opportunities, and amplifying solutions to disabling barriers from the disabled gamer community.

Centivizer – U of T Spin-off Startup

Centivizer is a spin-off company from the Interactive Media Lab at University of Toronto, founded by Prof. Mark Chignell, former director of KMDI.
You can learn more by visiting Centivizer’s website:

Professors Sara Grimes and Leslie Shade UN Study on Children’s Use of Digital Technology

Professor Sara Grimes and Professor Leslie Shade recently conducted a research study to better understand how children use digital technology. Participants were asked to express how they engage with various technologies through a series of workshops. Data gathered from this research project will be shared with the United Nations as it looks to update its Convention on the Rights of the Child, for today’s digital world.

The Platform Power & Politics Project ( by Prof. David Nieborg)

This project discusses the relentless, decade-long growth of platform companies (Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon), now among the highest valued businesses in the world. Drawing on economics, media studies, and software studies, we are looking for ways to reframe platform power and analyze its impact. Our main interest are the complexities of global digital dominance and the infrastructural ambitions of platform operators. Our case studies include app stores, platform software and tools, platform-dependent modes of cultural production, and digital practices that challenge platform governance, such as gambling and porn. We are considerate of the global dimension of platform power and include both Western and non-Western, particularly Chinese platform companies.

Trans-Feminist and Queer Digital Praxis Workshop – TFQ DPW. (Co-directors T.L. Cowan and Jasmine Rault)

The Trans-Feminist Queer Digital Praxis Workshop (TFQ DPW) is both a collective of, and a space for, trans- feminist queer activists, artists, audiences, writers, and researchers, working from the University of Toronto and beyond. Anchored in trans- feminist Indigenous queer of color and critical disability ethics and praxes of reciprocity and responsibility, TFQ DPW works on digital phenomena as forms and spaces of potential (and potential problems) for multi-scalar multi-disciplinary works-in-progress through collaboration and community.

Our two current projects are the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC) and Cabaret Commons. DREC is a research community and space committed to building reciprocal, accountable, non-extractive, non-dispossessive research norms and values, online and offline within transnational frames. The Cabaret Commons is a gathering space for queer artists, activists, audiences, and scholars to think, co-create, play, and share their work in multiple forms and formats.