Samara Hayley Steele


Position Title
CST PhD Student


Research Interests:

Analog Game Studies, Gender Playability, Cooperative Economics, Diegetic Code, Narratology, Critical Code Studies (CCS), The Bossless Workers Movement, Nihilistic Social Apparatuses.


  • MFA Creative Writing, Portland State University, 2014.
  • BA English & Interdisciplinary Studies, Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, 2007.
  • AAS Bellevue Community College, 2003.

Select Publications:

  • “The Reality Code: Interpreting Aggregate Larp Rules as Code that Runs on Humans.” The International Journal of Role-Playing, issue 7.

Select Presentations:

  • “Understanding Larp Literacy: Noise Filtering, Direct Diegesis, Extradiegetic Statement Exchange, and Intradiegetic Objects.” The Role-playing and Simulation in Education Conference at Northeastern University. Boston, MA. May 2018.
  • “Game Design Methodologies for Gender Playability: A Case Study of Thermophiles in Love.” Presentation for the Social Studies of Live Action Role-Playing Games Conference at the European University of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia. December 2016.
  • “Code as Diegetic Language in LARP.” Presented as part of the “Critical Code Studies and Creativity Panel” at the 30th Annual Conference of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), Atlanta, GA. November 2016.
  • “Lessons in Netprov: Collaborative Writing in the Digital Age.” Presentation with Rob Wittig and Mark Marino at the Berkeley Center for New Media, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. October 2016.
  • “Teaching Political Economy through Larp: Some Game Mechanics of Feudalism and Capitalism.” Presentation at the Role-Playing and Simulation in Education Conference at Texas State University. Round Rock, TX. May 2016.
  • “Gender Playability in Larp: The Roles of Performativity and Interpolation.” Presentation at The 35th Annual Gender Studies Symposium. Lewis & Clark College. Portland, OR. March 2016.
  • “Beyond Lords and Ladies: Factors that Support (or Inhibit) Player Experimentation with Gender.” Presentation at the Living Games Conference. The Game Center, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. New York, NY. March 2014.


  • Provost’s Fellowship, UC Davis, 2018-19.
  • Graduate Assistantship with the Portland Center for Public Humanities, Portland State University, 2009.

Selected Affiliations

  • Advanced Research Affiliate with the Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS) Lab at the University of Southern California.