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Via fastcodesign, the folks at MIT have tried to create a book with a crude virtual reality component: a programmable book and vest that supposedly makes the reader feel what the protagonist feels.

Follow the link if you’re curious how it’s supposed to work. There’s an embedded video, too, which I didn’t watch.

Personally, I would be embarrassed for any writer that used this technology. Text will already made the reader feel what the protagonist feels, if you do it right. That’s the point of books (well, one of the points) and having a vest that constricts, warms or cools to simulate emotions is just a distraction from the work a writer’s words are meant to do.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
some protagonists have hellish backstories, and I am not sure that would be effective in feeling. Or dying...
Feb. 13th, 2014 07:56 pm (UTC)
Yes. Detach the blade apparatus on that vest before reading any George RR Martin.

Actually, leaving the blade in place--even if it was never triggered--would match the dread of unexpected death his books instill.
Feb. 13th, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
Of course, so does reading his books anyway...
Feb. 13th, 2014 08:12 pm (UTC)
But we'd get the books so much faster because he wouldn't have to work so hard. Any shitty page he wrote would make us tense, because stabbing.
Feb. 13th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
electroshock reading therapy..
Feb. 13th, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC)
I could see having something like that for video games instead of books— but a good video game is so evocative already that my wife has to put on a blanket when I’m cruising across a snowy world in Mass Effect.
Feb. 13th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
A good anything is meant to be evocative. That's why this sort of VR is just a mask for crap art.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )