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robertogreco : pry   3

Do You Read Differently Online and in Print?
"The Internet may cause our minds to wander off, and yet a quick look at the history of books suggests that we have been wandering off all along. When we read, the eye does not progress steadily along the line of text; it alternates between saccades—little jumps—and brief stops, not unlike the movement of the mouse’s cursor across a screen of hypertext. From the invention of papyrus around 3000 B.C., until about 300 A.D., most written documents were scrolls, which had to be rolled up by one hand as they were unrolled by the other: a truly linear presentation. Since then, though, most reading has involved codices, bound books or pamphlets, a major advantage of which (at least compared to the scroll) is that you can jump around in them, from chapter to chapter (the table of contents had been around since roughly the first century B.C.); from text to marginal gloss, and, later, to footnote."



"Comprehension matters, but so does pleasure. In Proust and the Squid, Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, observes that the brain’s limbic system, the seat of our emotions, comes into play as we learn to read fluently; our feelings of pleasure, disgust, horror and excitement guide our attention to the stories we can’t put down. Novelists have known this for a long time, and digital writers know it, too. It’s no coincidence that many of the best early digital narratives took the form of games, in which the reader traverses an imaginary world while solving puzzles, sometimes fiendishly difficult ones. Considered in terms of cognitive load, these texts are head-bangingly difficult; considered in terms of pleasure, they’re hard to beat.

A new generation of digital writers is building on video games, incorporating their interactive features—and cognitive sparks—into novelistic narratives that embrace the capabilities of our screens and tablets. Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro’s 2014 iPad novella, Pry, tells the story of a demolitions expert returned home from the first Gulf War, whose past and present collide, as his vision fails. The story is told in text, photographs, video clips, and audio. It uses an interface that allows you to follow the action and shift between levels of awareness. As you read text on the screen, describing characters and plot, you draw your fingers apart and see a photograph of the protagonist, his eyes opening on the world. Pinch your fingers shut and you visit his troubled unconscious; words and images race by, as if you are inside his memory. Pry is the opposite of a shallow work; its whole play is between the surface and the depths of the human mind. Reading it is exhilarating.

There’s no question when you read (or play) Pry that you’re doing something your brain isn’t quite wired for. The interface creates a feeling of simultaneity, and also of having to make choices in real time, that no book could reproduce. It asks you to use your fingers to do more than just turn the page. It communicates the experience of slipping in and out of a story, in and out of a dream, or nightmare. It uses the affordances of your phone or tablet to do what literature is always trying to do: give you new things to think about, to expand the world behind your eyes. It’s stressful, at first. How are you supposed to know if you’re reading it right? What if you miss something? But if you play (or read) it long enough, you can almost feel your brain begin to adapt.

Most of the Web is not like Pry—not yet, anyway. But the history of reading suggests that what we’re presently experiencing is probably not the end times of human thought. It’s more like an interregnum, or the crouch before a leap. Wolf points out that when it comes to reading, what we get out is largely what we put in. “The reading brain circuit reflects the affordances of what it reads,” she notes: affordances being the built-in opportunities for interaction. The more we skim, the more we’re likely to keep skimming; on the other hand, the more we plunge into a text, the more we’re likely to keep plunging. “We’re in a digital culture,” Wolf says. “It’s not a question of making peace. We have to be discerning, vigilant, developmentally savvy.” And of course we have to be surprised, delighted, puzzled, even disturbed. We have to enjoy ourselves. If we can do that, digital reading will expand the already vast interior space of our humanity."
howweread  readin  albertomanguel  technology  reading  digital  internet  paullafarge  maryannewolf  web  online  staugustine  ambrose  nicholascarr  socrates  brain  agostinoramelli  history  attention  digitalmedia  rolfengelsing  rakefetackerman  morrisgoldsmith  johannesnaumann  dianadestefano  jo-annelefevre  hypertext  michaelwenger  davidpayne  comprehension  engagement  enjoyment  talyarkoni  nicolespeer  jeffreyzacks  psychology  memory  linearity  footnotes  marginalia  bookfuturism  information  wandering  cognitiveload  games  gaming  videogames  samanthagorman  dannycannizzaro  ipad  pry  interiority  affordances  interface  linear  awareness  immersion  skimming  cv  humanity  interregnum  interactivity  interaction 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Pry
"Pry is a hybrid novella by Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman forthcoming to the iPad this winter. Reimagining the e-book, Pry places the reader inside the mindscape of James, the main protagonist. Form and function resonate to reveal James’ increasing preoccupation with his failing sight and his unreliable memories from a war fought ten years ago."

[See also: http://samanthagorman.net/Pry
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:8bd96df3ed57 ]
pry  books  ebooks  samanthagorman  dannycannizzaro  storytelling  ipad  ios  2013 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Penumbra - Samantha Gorman
"Penumbra is a hybrid art/literature application in development for tablet media. It expands “ebook” conventions by carefully integrating video, illustration and fiction. These media work equally together to inform the total reading. Tablets are a promising literary medium with the potential to redefine our reading practice beyond a simple emulation of print on screen. Increasingly, ebooks could represent a growing platform for the consumption and dissemination of media art: a platform that is inherently interactive and readily mobile.

Investment in actively reading the interface relies on our experience with interaction design; the goal is to implement touch-screen gestures in service of the story’s content. Touching and tilting the screen places the reader in the position of the main protagonist. The reader can use the interface to decide how long the protagonist focuses on his external vs. internal world."

[Now called Pry: http://samanthagorman.net/Pry
http://prynovella.com/
https://vimeo.com/78973518

Penumbra video:
https://vimeo.com/33515808 ]
floatingtext  animation  perspective  worldswitching  thebookofjudith  ephemerality  gestures  mediaart  penumbra  ios  interactivefiction  content  video  futureofmedia  literature  storytelling  interactiondesign  interaction  tablets  ebooks  ebook  2012  samanthagorman  reading  ipad  digitaltext  if  applications  cyoa  ephemeral  pry  novellas 
april 2012 by robertogreco

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