CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. Creativity and Cognition. Vol. 6, no. 4, December 2010, pp. 187-206.
This article presents theory and technology addressing the design of computing technologies for social computing and gaming: (1) to provide dynamic means of identity representation while avoiding stigmatising norms, and (2) to provide for critical reflection on stigmatising identity infrastructures found in other systems. The theory and technologies developed with these aims are encapsulated under the rubric of the Advanced Identity Representation (AIR) Project that initiated in the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab) directed by the author. This work has a basis in the cognitive science foundations of categorisation and metaphor-based bias, and study of social classification infrastructures from sociology of science. Using this theoretical framework, this article provides a model to reveal a set of inadequacies of many current identity infrastructures in social computing and gaming systems for supporting the needs of collective groups of people and individuals in marginalised categories. As results, several social networking systems and games developed in the ICE Lab to empower users in the creative goal of constructing computational identities and/ or critiquing the phenomenon of stigma in these applications are presented.