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  1. At times, the interfaces of videogames – gameworlds – contain tiny details that go unnoticed. One such detail is how designers employ ! and ? to communicate to players. These punctuation marks have existed in videogames since their creation, yet remain undiscussed by designers. They are used as ways to promote curiosity, as objects, as ways to symbolize excitement, and as a prompt to react. Their varied history is deserving of attention, so we present a chronicle of two pieces of gameworld punctuation: ! and ?. We discuss current and past uses and identify more ways that these could be used in the future. These symbols may present a useful space of inquiry not only for games and games research, but more generally, in terms of the rapid communication of complex information. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  2. At times, the interfaces of videogames -- gameworlds -- contain tiny details that go unnoticed. One such detail is how designers employ ! and ? to communicate to players. These punctuation marks have existed in videogames since their creation, yet remain undiscussed by designers. They are used as ways to promote curiosity, as objects, as ways to symbolize excitement, and as a prompt to react. Their varied history is deserving of attention, so we present a chronicle of two pieces of gameworld punctuation: ! and ?. We discuss current and past uses and identify more ways that these could be used in the future. These symbols may present a useful space of inquiry not only for games and games research, but more generally, in terms of the rapid communication of complex information. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 29, 2024
  3. Many trans people experience gender dysphoria -- distress caused by mismatches in internal and external experiences of gender. Video games engage intimately with the self, creating intense experiences involving identities, bodies, and social interaction. This combination of factors renders trans players vulnerable to gender dysphoria triggers: failures of interaction design that result in gender dysphoria. The present research undertakes a thematic analysis of four popular games, drawn from an initial corpus of 31. It contributes a definition of gender dysphoria triggers, case studies of triggering games, an initial gender dysphoria categorization to provide a useful design language, and examples of alternative designs for extant triggers. The analysis combines the authors' positionality as trans gamers; critical cultural studies methodologies, including textual analysis; a critical discourse analysis of production-side statements and interviews and player-side comments about diversity in those games; and close readings of the games themselves. The paper concludes with a call for trans inclusivity in game design, which we structure around the necropolitical concept of the relation of care. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 29, 2024
  4. Search and rescue (SAR) teams are the first to respond to emergencies. This could include finding lost hikers, shoring buildings, or aiding people post-disaster. SAR combines orienteering, engineering, field medicine, and communication. Technology use in SAR has been changing with the proliferation of information communication technologies; so, we ask, how are established and emerging technologies used in SAR? Understanding how responders are adopting and adapting these technologies during SAR missions can inform future design and improve outcomes for SAR teams. We interviewed SAR volunteers to contextualize their experiences with technology and triangulated with additional questionnaire data. We discuss how technology use in SAR requires an intersection of expert knowledge and creative problem solving to overcome challenges in the field. 
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  5. Radianti, J. ; Dokas, I. ; LaLone, N. ; Khazanchi, D. (Ed.)
    Search and rescue (SAR) teams are the first to respond to emergencies. This could include finding lost hikers, shoring buildings, or aiding people post-disaster. SAR combines orienteering, engineering, field medicine, and communication. Technology use in SAR has been changing with the proliferation of information communication technologies; so, we ask, how are established and emerging technologies used in SAR? Understanding how responders are adopting and adapting these technologies during SAR missions can inform future design and improve outcomes for SAR teams. We interviewed SAR volunteers to contextualize their experiences with technology and triangulated with additional questionnaire data. We discuss how technology use in SAR requires an intersection of expert knowledge and creative problem solving to overcome challenges in the field. This research contributes an understanding of the constraints on and implications for future SAR technologies and SAR operators’ creativity in emergent situations. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 28, 2024
  6. As artificial agents proliferate, there will be more and more situations in which they must communicate their capabilities to humans, including what they can “see.” Artificial agents have existed for decades in the form of computer-controlled agents in videogames. We analyze videogames in order to not only inspire the design of better agents, but to stop agent designers from replicating research that has already been theorized, designed, and tested in-depth. We present a qualitative thematic analysis of sight cues in videogames and develop a framework to support human-agent interaction design. The framework identifies the different locations and stimulus types – both visualizations and sonifications – available to designers and the types of information they can convey as sight cues. Insights from several other cue properties are also presented. We close with suggestions for implementing such cues with existing technologies to improve the safety, privacy, and efficiency of human-agent interactions. 
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