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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 September 29, 2024
  2. 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
  3. Emergency Management (EM) is experiencing a crisis of technology as technologists have attempted to innovate standard operating procedures with minimal input from EM. Unsurprisingly, there has yet to be a success. Instead, technologists have focused on consumer culture and fostered a slow-moving crisis as the gap between what consumers and EM can do is deep. At present, the most ubiquitous aspect of technology in disaster is its capacity to exacerbate response, create new kinds of disaster, and create consumer expectations that EM cannot meet. In the present work, we highlight how and why technological production needs to shift its ontological premises dramatically to meet the needs of technology for first responders. From supporting practice to taking a few steps back from the bleeding edge, we offer a range of suggestions based on the technological capacities of emergency management in the present and in the future. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 21, 2024
  4. Radianti, J. ; Dokas, I. ; LaLone, N. ; Khazanchi, D. (Ed.)
    Emergency Management (EM) is experiencing a crisis of technology as technologists have attempted to innovate standard operating procedures with minimal input from EM. Unsurprisingly, there has yet to be a success. Instead, technologists have focused on consumer culture and fostered a slow-moving crisis as the gap between what consumers and EM can do is deep. At present, the most ubiquitous aspect of technology in disaster is its capacity to exacerbate response, create new kinds of disaster, and create consumer expectations that EM cannot meet. In the present work, we highlight how and why technological production needs to shift its ontological premises dramatically to meet the needs of technology for first responders. From supporting practice to taking a few steps back from the bleeding edge, we offer a range of suggestions based on the technological capacities of emergency management in the present and in the future. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 28, 2024
  5. 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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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 21, 2024
  6. 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
  7. For many years, CI has tried to show the value of computational techniques for response to hazard events but has yet to see success outside of post-hoc analyses. Meanwhile, emergency management (EM) has been struggling to cope with the impact of computation. This duality wherein we know technology can be useful yet also complicates EM (and has not yet been fully integrated into EM) is what we dub the technology crisis in EM. To begin to address this crisis and revitalize CI, we argue that it is necessary to develop an inventory of what technologies EM is competent with and to design training that can extend that competency. This research reports a survey of EM Practitioners in the United States. We offer one of the first inventories of EM technologies and technological skills and identify how current EM technological integration issues are a crisis. 
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  8. In the midst of a disaster event like a hurricane, all electrical, connected objects are typically rendered useless. A lack of connectivity, electricity, and potential mobility issues render devices (and sometimes users) unable to perform their basic functions. The potential for the sheer volume of these devices, of the apps installed on them, are as such that they are an unused canvas of design. We present extensible design, the activity of designing new uses for existing applications that may possess functionality that is useful outside of its intended function. We present a description of extensible design and provide a fictional example of what that approach may provide. In so doing, we help address existing gaps between emergency management and consumer-based communication behaviors during disaster. The “Decentralized Layer,” an extension of location-based games like Pok´emon Go, Pikmin Bloom, and Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite, is meant to provoke discussion about the potential use of apps and the app ecosystem past its current, limited expression. We conclude by offering next steps, road blocks, and additional considerations for extensible design that will need to be in order for it to be realized. 
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  9. Abstract Background: A Mass Casualty Incident response (MCI) full scale exercise (FSEx) assures MCI first responder (FR) competencies. Simulation and serious gaming platforms (Simulation) have been considered to achieve and maintain FR competencies. The translational science (TS) T0 question was asked: how can FRs achieve similar MCI competencies as a FSEx through the use of MCI simulation exercises? Methods: T1 stage (Scoping Review): PRISMA-ScR was conducted to develop statements for the T2 stage modified Delphi (mD) study. 1320 reference titles and abstracts were reviewed with 215 full articles progressing for full review leading to 97 undergoing data extraction. T2 stage (mD study): Selected experts were presented with 27 statements derived from T1 data with instruction to rank each statement on a 7-point linear numeric scale, where 1 = disagree and 7 = agree. Consensus amongst experts was defined as a standard deviation ≤ 1.0. Results: After 3 mD rounds, 19 statements attained consensus and 8 did not attain consensus. Conclusions: MCI simulation exercises can be developed to achieve similar competencies as FSEx by incorporating the 19 statements that attained consensus through the TS stages of a scoping review (T1) and mD study (T2), and continuing to T3 implementation, and then T4 evaluation stages. 
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  10. In multiplayer collaborative games, players need to coordinate their actions and synchronize their efforts effectively to succeed as a team; thus, individual differences can impact teamwork and gameplay. This article investigates the effects of cognitive styles on teams engaged in collaborative gaming activities. Fifty-four individuals took part in a mixed-methods user study; they were classified as field-dependent (FD) or independent (FI) based on a field-dependent–independent (FD-I) cognitive-style-elicitation instrument. Three groups of teams were formed, based on the cognitive style of each team member: FD-FD, FD-FI, and FI-FI. We examined collaborative gameplay in terms of team performance, cognitive load, communication, and player experience. The analysis revealed that FD-I cognitive style affected the performance and mental load of teams. We expect the findings to provide useful insights on understanding how cognitive styles influence collaborative gameplay. 
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