Sunday, May 30, 2010

Immersion and ambiguity

Britta ended her talk on Friday with this provocative video 'Immersion', originally featured on the New York Times site. It's the second time I've seen it and I can't help feeling that it seems like a criticism of new media because of the way in which some of the gleeful expressions are juxtaposed against violent audio tracks from the videogames. For me it also edits out some important features like reflection, decision-making, problem-solving and, of course, collaboration. But interestingly not everyone sees it like that. Others I talked to on Friday just see the level of immersion - and maybe the idea that gamer kids have other (newer?) pleasures, and I think that was Britta's reading of it. On reflection it's a real test case in multimodality, because somethings are clearly communicated but others are open to interpretation. Should we care about the author's intentions? Or, even if we knew them, would they be relevant? Presumably a written account of the topic of immersion in videogames would require some point of view, and perhaps a more closed set of meanings (interestingly, point of view has an alternative meaning here). I'm not arguing that that would be better, of course. Just different. Any views on the video?

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