Samara Hayley Steele‘s scholarship explores gaming, subjectivity, political-economy, and code.  She is a practitioner and theorist of larp (live action role play), and is currently an Advanced Research Affiliate with the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab at USC.




A larper since 2003, Steele has served as a player, staff member, storyteller, and rules designer on a number of analog games, and from 2007-08 she served as a staff writer for the Cerise Magazine for Women Gamers.

Steele has spoken on game theory and design at LGC14, LGC16, and at the 2016 Lewis and Clark College Gender Symposium.

In 2009, she served as a Graduate Assistant with the Humanities Sustainability Research Project at Portland State University.  She has presented research at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts (SLSA), the 35th Annual Lewis & Clark Gender Studies Symposium, and at the Role-Playing and Simulation in Education Conference at the University of Texas.  A full list of her scholarship can be found at Academia.edu.

A partitioner and theorist of larp (live action role-play), Steele designed Thermophiles in Love, the Larp (2016), co-founded the Los Angeles Freeform and Theatre Larp Collective in 2016, served as a rules development consultant and staff member for the inaugural game of Beyond the Aether (2012), and served as a staff member of the Oregon Chapter of Alliance Larp (2004), and has also been a part of various larp groups and organizations in the Pacific Northwest.  Steele wrote a monthly article series entitled “Gender in Live Action Role-Play” for Cerise Magazine from 2007-08.

Holding an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Portland State University, Steele’s writing has appeared in various publications including the East Bay Express, Adbusters,  Slingshot, and IndyBay.  She has two books forthcoming from Black Powder Press.

Steele has served as a community organizer, publicist, and development director with various social and environmental justice projects, including LAND ACTIONOakland Spring Rising, The Omni CommonsThe Portland Center for Public Humanities, and the Pickering Farm Community Garden.  Steele organized publicity and operations for the Villagecraft Education Network from 2013-15 in the San Francisco East Bay, through which she also taught free and low-cost community writing workshops.

Serving the literary community, Steele has done editorial and administrative work with various literary and independent publications and presses including Ooligan Press, Tin House, The Bellingham Review, McSweeney’s, Jeopardy Magazine, and Slingshot.  She co-founded the Fairhaven Free Press in 2003.