Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

The Cave may be considered as an actual existing epitome of media, that is, “new” and “digital” media. Despite the proliferation of 3D stereo graphics as applied to film fi and games, the experience of immersion is still novel and powerful. Potentially and in theory, the Cave simulates human experience in an artificial fi environment that is socalled virtually real. Moreover, because of its association with computational, programmabledevices, anything— any message or media— can be represented within the Cave in the guise of real-seeming things. Caves could and, in fact, have allowed for the exploration of textual—indeed, literary—phenomena in such artificial fi environments. Caves have been intermittently employed for works of digital art, but uniquely, at Brown University, thanks to the pioneering efforts ff of postmodern novelist Robert Coover, there has been an extended pedagogical and research project of this institution’s Literary Arts Department to investigate, since 2001, the question of what it might mean to write in and for such an environment. Simple frontend software was developed by undergraduates at Brown which allows writers who are not programmers or computing graphics specialists to create textual objects and develop narrative and poetic structures for the Cave’s artificial fi immersive worlds (Baker et al. 2006; Cayley 2006a). So far, the best-known and most discussed digital literary work to emerge from this project is “Screen” by Noah WardripFruin et al. (2002; see also Carroll et al. 2004), although this project uses technologies prior to the development of Brown’s Cave Writing software as such.

(Johns Hopkins University Press)

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Sumeya Hassan