Storyworlds we never leave: long-form interactive narratives, Google Glass and new audiences

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Over the past year I have been exploring the creation and reception of dense, spatialized augmented reality novels that can be experienced via optical see-through glasses, like Goggle glass or Meta -- displays that finally allow a spectator/reader/viewer to wander hands-free though poems and secrets and dreamscapes while they also see and experience the analogue world.

I am interested in the idea that spatialized AR novels will be explored over days or weeks, not hours, with a granularity and density of text that we have not yet seen in in situ or mobile works - a new generation of electronic writing that combines the density of a novel alongside the rich linkages and possibilities for re-reading promised by early hypertext combined with the potent poetics of the interplay between real and fictional worlds and the bodies walking through them.

One of the things that has struck me over the past few years is that so much of our received knowledge about the ideal granularity for digital works – a preference for very small chunks of information and fleeting, easily intelligible experiences, for example - is so at odds now with the incredible density of information - both networked and non-networked - that is now possible to build into these experiences.

While I see these works relating to cinema and installation and theatre and gaming, my chief point of entry is decidedly literary - resonating strongly with the conference interest in "focusing on the meaning of electronic literature" in this moment of cultural shift. I will illustrate my work with examples from my own practice and student work undertaken in York University's Future Cinema Lab.

(Author's introduction)

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Thor Baukhol Madsen