Advanced Identity Representation

Algebra of Identity: Skin of Wind, Skin of Streams, Skin of Shadows, Skin of Vapor

D. Fox Harrell
CTheory. October 2005. Reprinted in Critical Digital Studies: A Reader. Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker, eds. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2008, pp. 158-174.
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Chameleonia

Chameleonia

Chameleonia: Days of Lost Selves is a prototype sketch of a game based on shifting identities where the construction of self is at stake. Players make gestures associated with traits such as aggression, commerce, ideology, and more. Player's avatars, and their opponents', then transform in response. One moment the player character is a bazooka-toting cowgirl/boy sipping a softdrink - at the next moment a gold chain and pocketwatch wearing tycoon with stock charts bursting from its top-hatted head.

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Chameleonia
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Advanced Identity Representation

Define Me: Chimera

Define Me: Chimera

DefineMe: Chimera is a social networking (Facebook) application in which users define metaphorical profiles and avatars for each other, and several games and avatar creation systems where users' representations change dynamically based upon social context, user interaction, and artifact use. The DefineMe database is designed to be lightweight, dynamic, and extensible, while implementing categorical relationships between members. When comparing profiles, DefineMe is designed to match lexical items and logical relations directly, or it can compare the structures of profiles following insights from the analogical structure-mapping engine (SME) developed by Ken Forbus et. al. Influenced by Eleanor Rosch's influential prototype theory, the labeling system can also be used to define aspects of categories themselves. For instance, a 'robin' tag can be added to the category, 'birds,' to define the prototype of that category. In this way, members can belong to multiple groups, but individuals can represent the prototypical members of groups. This relatively lightweight structure avoids some of the pre-defined categorization built into many social networking infrastructures, and has the potential to more nuanced identity phenomena than many hierarchically organized social networking profiles allow.

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Define Me: Chimera
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Advanced Identity Representation

Avatar Breeder

Avatar Breeder

Avatar Breeder is a genetic algorithm-based procedurally generative satirical artwork constructed by Daniel Upton and Jisun An in Dr. Harrell's graduate course LCC 6312: Design, Technology, and Representation. It is intended to undermine normative categories of identity encountered on bureaucratic forms and in everyday lived experience. In such discrete categorization systems, ethnic identities can be based on geography, nationality, ancestry, family, culture and sub-culture, religion, language, race or any combination of these. In this new ideological thread, how do people identified with mixed ethnicities inhabit the interstitial spaces and margins amidst these complex factors? How do essential categorizations of ethnicity and/or race properly reinforce or obliterate social illusions or personal histories.

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Avatar Breeder
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Advanced Identity Representation

AIR Toolkit Development

AIR Toolkit Development

The Advanced Identity Representation (AIR) Project ($535,060/5 years, NSF CAREER Award #0952896) is a new transdisciplinary approach to the problem of designing identity technologies to enable imaginative self-representations and to counter social stigmas by implementing dynamic social identity models grounded in computing and cognitive science. The AIR Project seeks to: (1) Develop models of social computational identity (e.g., virtual characters, avatars, and social networking profiles) to enable user representations that dynamically change in response to context and use, and can minimize implicit stigma built into underlying infrastructure, (2) Implement an identity modeling toolkit for constructing empowering, cross-application self-representations (crucially, both back-end semantic data structures and graphical representations), (3) Use the AIR toolkit to build integrated social networking and narrative/game applications, and empirically assess the quality and nature of user representations constructed in contrast with the quality and nature of current systems.

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AIR Toolkit Development
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Advanced Identity Representation

Mimesis

Online social networks and video games are prevalent in today’s society, and using both video game characters and social networking profiles cam potentially be used to help people better understand others’ experiences, delivering meaningful experiences which enable critical reflection upon one’s identity, and on others’ experiences related to identity. However, merely customizing graphical representations and text fields are insufficient to convey the richness of our real world identities. As a step towards conveying richer identity experiences, we introduce our interactive narrative game called Mimesis, which aims to allow players to explore identity phenomena associated with discrimination.

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Mimesis
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Advanced Identity Representation
Mimesis

Chimeria

Everyone belongs to social categories based on factors such as musical preference, fashion, gender, or race. Yet, some category members are more central, privileged, or marginalized than others. Membership in such social categories is also dynamic: whether someone is a member or not may change over time, both within and between groups. Chimeria is a system to help people better understand social categorization phenomena such as marginalization and the dynamics of group membership. Chimeria does this through an interactive narrative. Consider the following story on a music-oriented social network:

A punk rock music fan decides to listen to a little jazz. She listens to a couple of albums by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, but however, still continues to post messages only about punk rock. She grows tired of being a punk rocker (who dabbles in jazz on the side), so listens again only to hardcore punk rock music. But now, upon returning back to punk rock, punk rock seems to have lost its luster. She finally decides to forsake punk rock and become a jazz fan...for good.

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Chimeria
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Advanced Identity Representation

Abstract Avatar

Abstract Avatar

Abstract Avatar allows for users to construct graphical self-representations akin to social networking profiles. These representations are composed of basic media elements such as uploaded images, text, and multimedia files, connected to each other in a self-determined graph structure. Bloggers can attach links to avatars, which readers can access upon receipt of permission. Abstract Avatar was created by the quartet of B.S. computational media students: Allen Morrison, Michael Groves, Kristi Champion, Charles Gunnell in Dr. Harrell's course LCC 3314: Technologies of Representation.

Credits: 

By the quartet of B.S. computational media students: Allen Morrison, Michael Groves, Kristi Champion, Charles Gunnell in Dr. Harrell's Georgia Tech course LCC 3314: Technologies of Representation.

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Abstract Avatar
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Advanced Identity Representation
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