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School of Literature, Media, and Communication

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Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 366
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    AI, Art, and Afrofuturism: STEAM learning with Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2024-02-08) Gaskins, Nettrice R.
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    Designing the Open Work World
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-04-27) Stricklin, Claire Stella
    Situated at the intersection of performance studies and game studies, this dissertation examines the shift in perspective between playing for one’s own entertainment and playing for the benefit of an outside audience. Its focus is in the genre of "actual play" — streamed or recorded audio / video programs featuring tabletop roleplaying games (TRPGs) as a core component of their content. When taken in isolation, traditional TRPGs offer clear models of interaction for each participant, with game designers, game masters, and players exerting differing degrees of agency and authority over a shared narrative. With the addition of digital mediation, however, that established constellation shifts. This dissertation considers the various socio-technical elements that shape such a move, emphasizing the role of the audience in shaping performance as much as the players’ transformation into performers beyond the game’s magic circle. The three studies designed for this research include a corpus analysis of YouTube comments drawn from actual play audiences; a grounded theory exploration of the ways streamers change their habits and their gameplay for outside audiences; and a process of research through design that culminates in an experimental actual play using a mechanical audience proxy. Altogether, these efforts seek to reconfigure audience/performer relationships, open new avenues for game design, and situate actual play as a new site for experimentation and innovation between the producers and consumers of media.
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    Designing Controllers for Collaborative Play
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-04-27) Truesdell, Erin J.K.
    Physical inputs are an integral part of the play-experience in digital games. Recent advances in technology and controller creation have led to a proliferation of a great variety of game controllers outside the console gamepad and mouse-and-keyboard paradigm. These alternative controllers offer a broad space of design opportunities and can be configured to support a wide variety of interaction types and amplify digital game mechanics. Alternative controllers are particularly well-suited to collaborative play contexts because they may be designed to take multiple or complementary inputs and thus support multiple simultaneous users. However, there are few resources specific to collaborative alternative controllers available to designers. My work applies cognitive approaches to human-computer interaction to play to generate a holistic understanding of the relationship between the physical affordances of controllers and the sense-making experiences of players. This allows for the generation of actionable design guidelines that take into account both physical design choices and players' social experiences and the establishment of a novel means of quantifying collaborative embodied gameplay. This dissertation includes four primary contributions: 1) the development of three themes and a taxonomy for collaborative alternative controllers; 2) the documented development of three boundary objects for the purpose of investigating players' sense-making processes with each; 3) the first use of creative sense-making analysis to describe and quantify goal-oriented embodied collaborative play; and 4) a series of design principles developed from an annotated portfolio of the boundary artifacts developed for this thesis and annotation of creative sense-making curves for each. In addition to contributing specifically to the field of alternative game controllers and design for collaborative play, this work contributes to research in games and play studies, tangible and embodied interaction design, and human-centered computing.
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    The Impact of Visuals on Storytelling in Visual Novels
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-01-18) Kar, Soham
    Narrative plays an important role in video games by acting as a means through which the player can develop an emotional connection to a game. Visual novels are a unique genre of video games that are characterized by limited player interactivity and an explicit focus on conveying narrative through various forms of visual storytelling. In this paper, I present five prominent visual mediums through which the narrative of a visual novel manifests, and I analyze each of their contributions to the storytelling of the narrative. Based on my findings, I outline several design principles to be considered during the design phase of a visual novel that are best suited for ensuring that the narrative is emotionally resonant, immersive, and appealing to the player. This work provides valuable insight into the design of visual novels that can be utilized to design better visual novels in the future.
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    Afrofuturist Feminism: Reinserting Blackness, Queerness, and Disabilities in the Design Process
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-12-09) Bosley, Brooke F.
    In 2020, the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Brayla Stone, and other Black lives lost to police brutality and COVID-19 reignited social protests across the United States and globally. These deaths magnified how white supremacy enacted violence toward Black communities, which shows up when people have biases toward marginalized groups. In response, companies such as Procter & Gamble, Ben & Jerry's, and even tech companies like Google, Amazon, and META released statements against police brutality. Tech companies promised fixes to algorithmic bias, shadowbanning, and diverse hiring practices. Technological solutions to these problems will not necessarily erase racial inequity; however, they can ultimately change how we build and create tools for marginalized communities for the better. We need principles that help designers, engineers, and researchers push for more equitable technology solutions centered around Blackness, Queerness, and Disabilities. This dissertation focuses on technology designers and researchers and how they build experiences that work for all marginalized people. I have developed Afrofuturist Feminism Principles to counter biases, violence, and trauma that technology design has enacted. My work is grounded at the intersection of Afrofuturism, Black Feminism, Race & Technology studies, and Human-Computer Interaction. The principles have been tested through co-design sessions with designers and non-designers around police brutality and COVID-19 that demonstrated the effectiveness of Afrofuturist Feminism Principles in tackling traumatic problems. I also interviewed researchers and designers to learn about the principles' challenges and opportunities. The goal of the dissertation is to understand how Afrofuturist Feminist principles could mitigate harm at the nexus of these issues and present a series of strategies on how to address these issues in design.
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    Perreo femme-inism: an avenue to reclaim, reject, and redefine cultural norms within Borinquen society
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-08-01) Hammond, Rebecca Arlene
    Puerto Rico is positioned at the epicenter of many of the debates involving questions of colorism, misogyny, sexual liberation, and gender expression in reggaetón and perreo, due to its role in shaping these cultures. What was traditionally defined as an oppressive and misogynistic expression is now being recognized as the instrument of resistance that it was created to be. The recent application of perreo, the style of dance associated with reggaetón, as a tool of resistance in Black feminists and queer movements coopts themes of reclamation, rejection, and redefinition that have embedded themselves in Puerto Rican culture. By exploring these three central themes, this research begins to build a framework for a new expression of feminism, perreo femme-inism.
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    Imagined Fortresses: Video Games as Language
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-05-03) Fiorilli, Patrick Oliver
    This dissertation argues that video games, as virtual worlds, are composed and experienced as language, and that they function as textual and philosophical machines essential to understanding virtuality, language, and finitude in today’s world. To this end, I describe how language manifests variously as material for video game design and play. In one regard, I argue that worlds emerge from the prescription of certain linguistic limits: the nonsensical, the inexpressible, or the impossible. Far more than agency and immersion, delimitation within the constraints of a video game’s language world defines the act of play. “Can I jump up there? Can I pet this dog?” In these cases, either the language of the game world holds the answers to these questions, and it will reveal them in turn, or it takes the questions themselves to be meaningless. The ledge is too high. You see a dog, but you cannot pet her. Traversing these limits, players paradoxically attempt to use language to escape language. As part of my comparative method, I locate a literary precedent for this paradox in the fiction of Mallarmé, Borges, Lispector, and Calvino. Mirroring the theoretical preoccupations of their poststructuralist counterparts, these postmodern authors reveal the implication of language in compounding formal and material spheres. Thus, this dissertation concludes that video games are virtual worlds in language which reveal their own enclosure and explore the very nature of delimitation.
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    ChattahoocheeView: Exploring 360° omnidirectional media in rivers
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-05) Perez, Germain
    This research, following an iterative approach, explores the viability of digital 360° imagery as a narrative device for river settings, while the artifact produced in the final iteration has potential as an educational and wellness tool. The literature review section of this paper examines useful concepts and methods from early works in this arena. The methodology section presents the production details of a 360° virtual guide to the Chattahoochee River through points of interest. Video and static-image VR presentations are fleshed out and contrasted for their strengths and weaknesses. These presentations are offered within responsive, Javascript-driven web apps and make use of the ThreeJS graphical framework to extend functionality to both desktop and mobile devices. One conclusion, reached after iterating through the design process, finds the video presentation to be most engaging as a narrative device, while the static-image presentation is more useful for record-keeping and data capture. Extensions to this work might include embedding graphics inside the virtual scene to identify gaze highlights and provide additional context.
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    Design for Public Librarianship
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-04-28) Kozubaev, Sandjar
    This doctoral thesis examines the present and futures of public librarians in the U.S. and the role this institution plays in community and civic life. The goal of the research is to answer the question: how might we design for public librarianship? First, I propose to describe and explain public librarianship through the lens of infrastructures and infrastructuring to help illuminate the breadth and diversity of the work of librarians. In doing so, I also uncover insights about the politics and experience of futures, specifically that futures are socio-material and emerge at different scales through infrastructural relations. Second, I propose a series of design provocations to suggest opportunities for design that supports public librarianship as infrastructuring. The primary contribution of this work is to the study and practice of civic and social design on the example of public librarianship. The secondary contribution is to the study and practice of futures.
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    A Multidimensional Expansion of Intercultural and Creative Competencies
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022) Carver, Megan