Making the case for an existential perspective on HCI research on death and mortality:Commentary

Harper, R. (2016) Making the case for an existential perspective on HCI research on death and mortality:Commentary. In: CHI EA '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, p. 363. ISBN 9781450340823

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The paper discusses some of the key HCI studies dealing with mortality and death and concludes that the overall research perspective, adopted in most of the studies -- namely, conducting empirical analyses of user practices and trying to improve the practices through iterative cycles of design and evaluation -- is not fully appropriate for understanding the impact of technology on how people experience their own mortality. The paper discusses an alternative research perspective, existential HCI, and argues that adopting that perspective can usefully complement existing studies related to mortality and death. A tentative analysis of "digital afterlife", understood as the persistence of a person's digital possessions and traces beyond the person's life span, from an existential HCI perspective, is presented. Prospects and challenges for future development of an existential perspective in HCI research are discussed.

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14 Jun 2018 13:54
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20 Sep 2023 02:25