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The Prometheus Terminal: Worlding Games for the Adoption of Sustainable Datafication and Cybersecurity practices

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Publication date2/11/2022
Host publicationCumulus Detroit 2022: Design for Adaptation
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Edge Computing is being promoted as a more secure, private, and an increasingly better sustainable option for data generation and processing. Nevertheless, the rapid surge in the number of Internet of things (IoT) devices being integrated into networks and accompanying Edge Computing devices to process data closer to the source creates more opportunities and entry points for cyber-attacks. These attacks are labour intensive, with energy consumption increasing two-fold, contributing to climate change. Catalysing the situation further is the current illegibility and illiteracy of sustainable datafication and cybersecurity practices when using IoT devices and, to a more significant extent, the “networkification” (Pierce & DiSalvo, 2017) of connected devices.

To respond to these emergent issues and to make legible the domain for users’ sustainable and secured adoption of edge and IoT systems, this paper describes a Research through Design process for the design of a digital ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ game, portraying a hacker’s voyage through a perceptible world of computer networks and sustainable data practices. In addition to attempting to disambiguate the network ecology of IoT and Edge Computing, we describe our ‘worlding’ method used to create the game’s narrative to illustrate; the various edge and IoT operations, how their systems are impacted by security threats, and how these technologies could be operated more sustainably. We conclude by showcasing the final physical-digital game console –The Prometheus Terminal– and gameplayers’ response to it. We also take the opportunity to discuss the next phase of this research, which focuses on project impact through the design of an immersive experience, providing the opportunity to gather and reiterate research back to users concerning the legibility, negotiability, and agency within edge and IoT systems for the adoption of sustainable and secure practices within a network ecology.