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Digital games are a multi-billion-dollar industry whose production and consumption extend globally. Representation in games is an increasingly important topic. As those who create and consume the medium grow ever more diverse, it is essential that player or user-experience research, usability, and any consideration of how people interface with their technology is exercised through inclusive and intersectional lenses. Previous research has identified how character configuration interfaces preface white-male defaults [39, 40, 67]. This study relies on 1-on-1 play-interviews where diverse participants attempt to create “themselves” in a series of games and on group design activities to explore how participants may envision more inclusive character configuration interface design. Our interview findings describe specific points of tension in the process of creating characters in existing interfaces and the sketches participant-collaborators produced challenge the homogeneity of current interface designs. This project amplifies the perspective of diverse participant-collaborators to provide constructive implications and a series of principles for designing more inclusive character configuration interfaces, which support more diverse stories and gameworlds by reconfiguring the constraints that shape those stories and gameworlds.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Games in 2024 following peer review. This article may not exactly replicate the final published version. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


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