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[Xmca-l] Re: Semioticians, parse this please

Yes, I still like the

I think the more immediate problem that virtual reality designers face is
to simply create moment-to-moment experiential coherence. That is a huge
task to master. But isn't it interesting that the narrative coherence has
always preceded experiential coherence?

When stories are told the old-fashioned way, the event of narration is
markedly different from the event being narrated (to paraphrase Jakobson's
terms in the way that I think Stanton Wortham did in Narratives in Action).
And indeed, I think that virtual reality might be understood as the
reduction of the distance between the event of narration and the narrated
event. But there always has to be some distance otherwise it is no longer
virtual (although the movies, The Game, The Truman Show, The Matrix, etc,
play with this a bit in a way not so different from how the "prank" or the
"gag" - candid camera-style (or Jamie Kennedy Experiment-style or
Punk'd-style) - that involves one person feeling that they are just living
while others are controlling a narrative line of which they are unaware).
(and, of course, that isn't to say that the experience of narration isn't
important - there are enactments in the narration that are extremely
important but it is simple fact that these are markedly different from the
experience itself).

(Anyhow, just thinking in parentheticals here).

But I do think an academic paper as a virtual reality experience would be
an interesting one. Perhaps in the genre of ethnography or historical

Thanks for providing such fecund material for thinking these things!


On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com>

> Greg — I’m nearly 10 days behind, but I would still like to hear some
> thoughts about VR. I don’t mean DOING a paper in VR. I don’t forsee that
> happening. But to the extent that people like to think about how narrative
> works, I would expect that the question of how narrative works in VR should
> be intriguing. Think about how the writer constructs a place — a platform -
> on which the reader experiences the flow of the action. There is a lot of
> stuff written about how this platform is constructed in written narrative:
> the omniscient narrator who has the “eye of God,” who can tell what is
> happening anywhere in the universe, at any time, and feed it in consecutive
> bites into the mind of the reader, allowing him or her to see omnisciently.
> Then there’s the writer who shows us the world through the eye of one
> person, sometimes the main protagonist and sometimes an observe, but still
> makes the reader look at the action from the outside. Then there’s the “I”
> or first person narrator, through which the writer places the reader into
> the body and eye of the protagonist. And there’s the “you” version, where
> the writer speaks in the reader’s ear telling him or her, “then you did
> this, then you did that.”
> All of this had to be completely re-thought for movies, once movies
> stopped being just theater on film. The meaning of each choice had to be
> explicit, if only so that the cameraman could know what to shoot and the
> editors know what to cut. I thought this was where semiotics really got
> going.
> So what happens when you get VR? The story is still told by the writers
> and the people who prepare the film. But the viewer is now standing,
> moving, walking or riding in the center of a sphere that surrounds him. He
> is not looking at a screen. He is in three-dimensional space. He can turn
> around and see what’s going on behind him. He can look down and see the
> ground (early VR like the Ghostbusters shortie let you look down and
> —whoops, where are my legs? A problem to be fixed later) or up and see
> trees, tall buildings, stars or airplanes. Behind him, a car might be
> coming down the street. All of this is moving along just like in reality.
> But the filmmakers now have to account for the coherence of the viewer’s
> experience and construct that coherence and make it meaningful.
> I have googled “Semiotics of Virtual Reality” and found articles about
> games and language but nothing that really addressed how different the
> thinking and designing of a VR experience must be, compared to other ways
> of constructing an experience intended to be enjoyed by someone else.
> This is intended as just a response, not trying to start a new thread.
> Helena
> > On Jul 3, 2016, at 4:34 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > My thought:
> > Anybody working on a next paper for publication - how about doing it in
> > virtual reality?
> > Is that even imaginable?
> > -greg​
> > P.S. Helena, congratulations on your son's success!
> >
> > On Sun, Jul 3, 2016 at 2:36 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> >> What do you find disturbing about virtual reality entertainment, Helena?
> >> And your son is employed!
> >> Seems like your reality is virtually in great shape.  :-)
> >> mike
> >>
> >> On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 6:17 AM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com
> >
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Please take a look at this disturbing but real phenomenon:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> http://www.alistdaily.com/media/sony-pictures-kicks-off-vr-entertainment-business-ghostbusters/
> >>>
> >>> Full disclosure: this guy is my son. How did this happen?
> >>>
> >>> Helena
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Helena Worthen
> >>> 21 San Mateo Road
> >>> Berkeley, CA 94707
> >>> hworthen@illinois.edu
> >>> Vietnam blog is at: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
> >>> 510-828-2745
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >>
> >> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
> object
> >> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > Assistant Professor
> > Department of Anthropology
> > 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > Brigham Young University
> > Provo, UT 84602
> > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602