Research Papers and Other Published Works
COUNTERSPACE GAMES FOR BIWOC STEM STUDENTS
Principe Cruz, E., Sriwattanakomen, N., Hammer, J., & Kaufman, G. (2021). Counterspace Games for BIWOC STEM Students. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI’21 Extended Abstracts).
Black, Indigenous, and other Women of Color (BIWOC) studying STEM are underrepresented in STEM and subject to its “chilly” climate; it is unsurprising that BIWOC STEM students report weaker senses of belonging and higher rates of attrition. Counterspaces, or spaces for mutual support for BIWOC at the margins of STEM, have long combated dominant STEM culture to support BIWOC to thrive and persist in STEM. Digital game design and playful interactions to counter oppression can be leveraged to create digital games that function as counterspaces for BIWOC STEM students to playfully cultivate their belonging and persistence. Our exploratory game design research aims to co-design counterspaces games with BIWOC STEM students, and here we present our initial focus group designs centered on exploring existing BIWOC counterspace practices, preliminary data and insights, and promising directions for developing game design strategies to support BIWOC belonging and persistence in STEM.
UPLIFTING US: A BIPOC GAME DESIGN CASE STUDY
Brooks, C., Principe Cruz, E., Camera, J., & To, A. (2021). Uplifting Us: A BIPOC Game Design Case Study. In Foundations of Digital Games 2021 Late Breaking Work. (In press).
In this short paper, we share our experiences designing a game for and about students of color at predominantly white institutions
as a case study for a BIPOC-centric game design process. Through our design process, we encountered tensions in game design.
For example, the frequency and relative inconsequence of physically violent death harmfully emphasizing real-world trauma in a
game where all the main characters are people of color. We also encountered exciting opportunities in how we might create game
experiences truly centering people of color. For example, the surprisingly novel delight of designing and creating slice-of-life narrative scenes in which people of color interact and thrive. We share how we work through these tensions and opportunities in order to open a conversation around game design processes by and for people of color as ways to uplift ourselves and our communities.
BUILDING ANTI-RACIST FUTURES AT THE CMU HCII: RECRUITING BIPOC GRADUATE STUDENTS: VIRTUAL RECRUITMENT EVENT DESIGN
Principe Cruz, E., Kirabo, L., Carrington, P., & Hammer, J. (2021). Building Anti-Racist Futures at the CMU HCII: Recruiting BIPOC Graduate Students: Virtual Recruitment Event Design. BIPOC Literary Journal: The Colors We Carry.
Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) scholars are underrepresented in graduate programs, especially at prestigious institutions across the US. In this paper, we identify three strategies to increase the recruitment of BIPOC scholars in graduate programs: 1) Make tacit knowledge explicit, 2) Motivate applications/engagement, and 3) Create a sense of belonging and inclusion. We draw from the successes of pre-existing recruitment efforts that target Underrepresented Minority (URM) students, adapt their approaches, and apply these strategies to design recruitment efforts of our department's graduate programs in a virtual 3-day recruitment event. We present our initial event designs, preliminary data and analysis, and plans for the continued development of these strategies to significantly increase recruitment and retention of BIPOC graduate students in our department graduate programs.
REVIEW OF EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN OF COLOR IN ONLINE GAME SOCIAL COMMUNITIES: TOWARDS SYNTHESIZING PROMISING DESIGN DIRECTIONS FOR INCLUSIVE GAME-CENTRIC SOCIAL SYSTEMS
Principe Cruz, E. (2021). Review of Experiences of Women of Color in Online Game Social Communities: Towards Synthesizing Promising Design Directions for Inclusive Game-Centric Social Systems. BIPOC Literary Journal: The Colors We Carry.
This literature review will focus on how online social communities formed inside of and around computer-mediated or video games have supported and/or excluded marginalized communities; specifically, this review investigates how such online social groups have been welcoming or unwelcoming to women of color as players and/or gamers. This review will cover how different design aspects of such social online groups may affect how women of color have felt, been treated, and have operated in such online social community spaces. The overall purpose of this literature review is to explore and summarize prior research on the experiences of women of color in online social communities centered around computer-mediated or video games. Analysis of such research is geared towards synthesizing insights for proactively designing online social systems around digital games that are inclusive to marginalized groups, specifically women of color in this case.
AR PLAYABLE THEATRE ROSENSTRASSE: WE CHOOSE EACH OTHER
Principe Cruz, E., Cai, M., Chan, D., Im, S., Tang, Q., Zhang, R., & Hammer, J. (2021). AR Playable Theatre Rosenstrasse: We Choose Each Other. Well Played.
To explore the future of storytelling in AR, Team MemoiAR iteratively designed an AR adaptation of the award-winning game Rosenstrasse: an analog immersive tabletop roleplaying game that explores Jewish-Aryan marriages in WWII Berlin. This AR adaptation, Rosenstrasse: We Choose Each Other, preserves major themes and one dyad’s storyline of growing love and sustained personal resistance from the original game while AR extends the original live, interactive narrative experience, described in this paper as playable theatre. This paper analyzes key moments of R:WCEO and presents autoethnographic descriptions of the first author’s play experiences to illustrate design strategies developed by MemoiAR coauthors. These designs to facilitate narrative immersion, foster player interpersonal connections, and support physical roleplay enactments produce a compelling AR playable theatre experience. To conclude, this paper presents transferable insights, drawn from the presented design strategies, for the design of immersive, technologically-mediated playable theatre experiences.
Hammer, J., To, A., & Principe Cruz, E. (2020). Lab Counterculture. alt.chi 2020.
While academic research culture varies across schools, disciplines, and individual labs, the material and mental well-being of both graduate students and faculty are often negatively impacted by systemic factors in academia. Here we unpack these patterns in order to counter the narrative that individualistic solutions can bring about change. We illustrate how focus on quantitative outcomes, perfectionism, competition, time scarcity, power dynamics, bias towards maintaining the status quo, and financial stress contribute to negative lab culture. We describe specific, concrete, and actionable practices we institute in our lab to counter these systemic factors. We end by opening the conversation to other researchers to examine and counter toxic lab culture to promote supportive, inclusive, and ethical research.