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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. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  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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  7. This design fiction re-imagines an important informational element of the flood early warning system in order to unpack some of the questionable assumptions that society makes about disaster. In presenting an updated, ironic, vision of an alternative system, we highlight some of the ways that received ideas about the root causes of disaster, who is responsible for public safety, and the role of private sector innovation, are so embedded in the design of technologies used in crisis management that they have become taken for granted. This work demonstrates the potential for design fiction to serve as a tool in the evaluation and critique of safety-critical information systems and as a communication tool for conveying the complex findings of disaster research. It also points to new avenues of exploration for crisis informatics work on public warning systems. 
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