Through the Looking Glass

I feel like I’m reading something I shouldn’t be, while traversing Inanimate Alice.

The black screen with glimpses into her personal life felt intimate. Like I was passing through back channels of her thoughts, or watching her play ba-xi without her noticing I was watching.

The type, story, sound and interface all come together to give me a cultural and personal experience. I feel China, I feel John being missing, I feel as if I were invited to watch this little girl’s life unfold. But I don’t feel like I am her.

I relate and I don’t relate. I wonder if it’s something to do with the window, the screen, that keeps me from entering the world. With the text on paper interface of a book, I don’t visually see a window in front of me, keeping me from entering into the story. I can be in the world through my imagination. With the digital interface of my computer screen, I can see a literal window, a black border around the screen through which I view Alice’s story–and I feel engaged but not enveloped.

I wonder if this is a drawback of the digital interface for reading. Is there going to be automatic distance from the story because of the medium? Or am I just too aware of differences because I’m more comfortable experiencing a story through a book?




~ by kristinvermilya on March 3, 2013.

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