This session's guest is Morgan G. Ames, who joins us from UC Berkely. There she is an assistant adjunct professor in the School of Information and interim associate director of research for the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society.
The maintenance of ‘hacker’ identities often involves the discussion of one’s origin story—the nostalgic rendering of the path that one took into programming and technical tinkering, involving the technologies and media of hackers’ childhoods. In her paper she explores the ways in which these memories are mobilized to do cultural work in contemporary technology worlds, especially among those creating computational devices and software for children. Origin stories can serve as gatekeepers within hacker circles, delimiting who is a good “culture fit.” It can moreover shape the design process by influencing who hackers view as their primary audience and what they think this audience will find captivating.