For next week, please read the following:
- Murray, Janet H. (1997) Hamlet and the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. (HANDOUT)
Chapter 1: Lord Burleigh’s Kiss (p. 13-26)
- Moulthrop, Stuart. Pax. (Read about Pax, then play it by clicking on either of the two faces on the page.)
In Murray’s text, she asks the following questions :
1. “Do we believe that kissing a hologram (or engaging in cybersex) is an act of infidelity to a flash-and-blood partner?
2. “If we could someday make holographic adventures as compelling as Lucy Davenport, would the power of such a vividly realized fantasy world destroy our grip on the actual world?”
3. “Will the increasingly alluring narratives spun out for us by the new digital technologies be as benign and responsible as a nineteenth-century novel or as dangerous and debilitating as a hallucinogenic drug?”
Considering what you’ve already read, what you know about cyberspace narratives, and what Murray discusses in the handout that I provided, write an informed and thoughtful response to one of the above questions. Consider the power of traditional narratives and consider whether cyberspace narratives hold the possibility of even more power or less. Why or why not? What, if any, factors would be necessary in cyberspace narratives to have such potential impact as Murray seems to suggest by even posing such questions?
Take notes on what takes your attention most in Pax and be prepared to discuss this narrative in class.
If you weren’t in class, I’ve placed the remaining handouts in my box in the English Dept office (on same floor as our class).