>Thesis? Let’s talk about that_
How can emerging technology make reading a more immersive experience?
With the uprising of artificial intelligence and the impending doom of a robot on human war, people have become increasingly obsessed with distracting themselves from what the hell is actually happening in the world. The citizens of Earth partake in various interactive experiences to escape this harsh reality, such as binging Netflix and playing video games till 4 am and then wondering why you are so irritable the next day and getting annoyed with any sound your roommate makes even if it’s the door closing as they leave to go about their day that’s on track and productive which makes you hate yourself and the world around you more. What I’m trying to say is, there’s a lot of cool technology out there this day in age and instead of using it to replace everything we love and cause havoc, we should use it to make things that we love better!
Ok, that’s pretty broad and nonsensical how does this relate to reading?
So glad you asked. I’m interested in taking the traditional experience of reading a physical book into a virtual space. I do not want to strip the reader of the physical book, I want to accentuate the experience of reading. Imagine you are sitting in your room reading “Harry Potter”, but instead of being in your room you are sitting in the Hogwart’s library, then next chapter you’re in the stands at a quidditch stadium. The idea is to take the reader and put them into the setting of the book that they are reading. It would depend on a virtual reality headset that is able to tell where you are at in the book you’re reading and a pair of headphones to immerse you with ambient audio alongside it. Visualize reading “The Martian” on Mars or “The Hobbit” in the Shire; endless possibilities of putting the reader into the space they’re reading. I’m talking about immersive reading and how it needs to exist.
Why do we need this if reading is already imaginatively immersive?
Because it can be more than that! We have the technology to make it more than that! It just needs someone to spend the time on it. There’s many reasons that I think this would benefit people: It could help keep people of all ages and backgrounds interested in reading from a literacy and education stand point. It could get people to read that were previously uninterested and felt it was boring or felt they lacked the imagination to make it immersive. It could benefit the fangirls and boys that have a favorite book they could re-read over and over but still wish they could be more involved.
What makes you qualified to be the person to spend the time on this?
Great question. I may not be the person to bring this into full fruition, however through my education in the digital design program at the University of Colorado Denver I have found a passion for interactivity and storytelling through motion design. I think that the interest I have in creating experiences and telling stories can be combined into a project I’m truly passionate about, this one! I also believe that I can at least spend enough time to get people excited about the idea of immersive reading and more aware of how it could be made into a real thing.