DUB Seminar will be conducted using Zoom, via an invitation distributed to the DUB mailing list. Participants who are logged into Zoom using a UW account will be directly admitted, and participants who are not logged in to a UW account will be admitted using a Zoom waiting room.
Games offer worlds for players to explore, traverse, collaborate with others, solve puzzles within, do battle upon, and so on. These actions are game mechanics, the designed choices that players make. Maps – the varied, often stylized, projections of gameworld space – are needed to render gameworlds perceptible, understandable, and playable. In many games, maps are a read-only view that supports the player in making choices about navigation and wayfinding. Beyond traversal, cartography – the act of creating or modifying maps – offers players a range of choices about how they engage with the gameworld.
In this talk, I discuss the history of maps in games and explore how cartography as a game mechanic facilitates play. We made use of historical ways of knowing to unpack how maps have influenced the design of games for over a century. A thematic analysis of the design of game cartography interfaces identifies the affordances these interfaces offer and the kinds of play that cartography mechanics facilitate. I connect this work into a wider research agenda in supporting disaster responders and mixed reality systems.
Prof. Phoebe O. Toups Dugas (she/her) works at designing new information technologies for disaster response by looking to the design of video games – an intersection of specialized fieldwork, analysis of game designs, wearable computing, and mixed and virtual realities. Her work incorporates ethnographic approaches to understanding existing practice; zero-fidelity simulations that capture abstract, human-centered aspects of practice; mixed reality computing that engages players in human-human, human-environment, and human-computer interaction; wearable, collaborative technologies that support sensemaking in disaster; and qualitative analysis of game mechanics and interfaces in video games.
Prof. Toups Dugas earned her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University (Georgetown, Texas, USA) in Computer Science in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas, USA) in 2010. She joined New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA) as faculty in 2013. Outside of university, she studied search and rescue practice at Disaster City (College Station, Texas, USA), investigated the early use of smartphones in shopping at Yahoo! Research (Santa Clara, California, USA), and taught English in the Aichi Prefecture in Japan.
Prof. Toups Dugas has brought in over 1.5 million USD in grant funding from the US National Science Foundation and publishes regularly in the highly competitive international venues of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) and the ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY). She is the upcoming CHI 2024 Papers Co-Chair and previously was a CHI subcommittee chair for 2019 and 2020, was the 2016 and 2017 general chair for CHI PLAY, and has served as an associate chair for CHI, CHI PLAY, and other conferences over a dozen times.