By Marie-Laure Ryan
Is there an important distinction in perspective among immersion in a video game and immersion in a film or novel? What are the recent chances for illustration provided by means of the rising know-how of digital truth? As Marie-Laure Ryan demonstrates in Narrative as digital fact, the questions raised through new, interactive applied sciences have their precursors and echoes in pre-electronic literary and inventive traditions. previously a tradition of immersive ideals--getting misplaced in a great e-book, for example--we have gotten, Ryan claims, a tradition extra eager about interactivity. drawing close the assumption of digital fact as a metaphor for overall artwork, Narrative as digital fact applies the innovations of immersion and interactivity to boost a phenomenology of examining. Ryan's research encompasses either conventional literary narratives and the recent textual genres made attainable by way of the digital revolution of the previous few years, equivalent to hypertext, interactive videos and drama, electronic set up artwork, and computing device role-playing video games. Interspersed one of the book's chapters are numerous "interludes" that attention completely on both key literary texts that foreshadow what we now name "virtual reality," together with these of Baudelaire, Huysmans, Ignatius de Loyola, Calvino, and science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson, or contemporary efforts to supply interactive artwork kinds, just like the hypertext "novel" Twelve Blue, by means of Michael Joyce, and i am Your guy, an interactive motion picture. As Ryan considers the destiny of conventional narrative styles in electronic tradition, she revisits one of many valuable concerns in sleek literary theory--the competition among a most likely passive studying that's taken over through the realm a textual content represents and an energetic, deconstructive examining that imaginatively participates within the text's construction.
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Additional info for Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media (Parallax: Re-visions of Culture and Society)
In my discussion of temporal and emotional immersion I seek explanations for two closely related immersive paradoxes that have generated lively debate among philosophers and cognitive psychologists for a number of years: how readers can experience suspense the second or third time they read a text, even though they know how it ends; and how the fate of ﬁctional characters can generate emotional reactions with physical symptoms, such as crying, even though readers know fully well that these characters never existed.
Or even, as VR suggests, a virtual world and living space. ’’ For the general public, the narrow technical meaning meant nothing; but the label virtual became a powerful metaphor for the accelerating ﬂight of technology into the unknown. The term gave an almost science-ﬁctional aura to the products of a culture that had to be hatching something fundamentally new, since it was approaching the mythical landmark of the turn of the millennium. Let us backtrack even further, in this hopeless but tempting search for pure and original meaning, by asking what is virtual about artiﬁcial worlds and pseudo-memory and versatile machines.
Langer’s interpretation of the virtual foregrounds the optical illusion: ‘‘The most striking virtual objects in the natural world are optical—perfectly deﬁnite visible ‘things’ that prove to be intangible, such as rainbows and mirages’’ (48). ’ Its importance lies in the fact that we do not use it to guide us to something tangible and practical, but treat it as a complete entity with only visual attributes and relations. ). To extend the optical concept of 41 42 | VIRTUALITY virtuality to nonvisual forms of art, without resorting to worn-out and medium-insensitive metaphors such as ‘‘painting’’ with words or with sound, Langer detaches the notion of image from any individuated content.