Article by By Philip Marcelo (c) Business and Technology News - Read full story here.
Virtual reality game based on James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’
March 18, 2017
The goal of “Joycestick” is to expose new audiences to the works of one of Ireland’s most celebrated authors, as well as to give a glimpse of how virtual reality can be used to enhance literature, said Joseph Nugent, the Boston College English professor who is coordinating the project. “Joycestick,” in many ways, fills in the blanks of the novel, as many of the places key to the story have been lost to time as Dublin has evolved, said Enda Duffy, chairman of the English Department at UC Santa Barbara, who has tried a prototype of the game. There have been a number of efforts to bring works of literature into the gaming world over the years, including a computer game of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” that became a viral hit in 2011 as it mimicked the look and feel of a classic, 1980s-era Nintendo game. [...] the Boston College project is unique for trying to incorporate virtual reality technology, says D. Fox Harrell, a digital media professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It requires multiple entry points and modes of interpretation, so it will be fascinating to see how their VR system addresses these aspects of the work,” said Harrell, who hasn’t tried the game out yet. [...] the game lets users explore a handful of key environments described in the book, from a military tower where the novel opens to a cafe in Paris that is significant to the protagonist’s past. The project represents an extension of what academics call the “digital humanities,” a field that merges traditional liberal arts classes with emerging technology. [...] the native of Mullingar, Ireland, is quick to shift credit for the current project’s ambition to his group of 22 students, who are studying a range of disciplines, from English to computer science, philosophy, business and biology, and have also been recruited from nearby Northeastern University and the Berklee College of Music.