Good beginnings state the stakes. And this is the case with the conclusion of the introduction to Marie-Laure Ryan Narrative as Virtual Reality
But why should the synthesis of immersion and interactivity matter so much for aesthetic philosophy? In its literal sense, immersion is a corporeal experience, and as I have hinted, it takes the projection of a virtual body, or even better, the participation of the actual one, to feel integrated in an art-world. On the other hand, if interactivity is conceived as the appreciator’s engagement in a play of signification that takes place on the level of signs rather than things and of words rather than worlds, it is a purely cerebral involvement with the text that downplays emotions, curiosity about what will happen next, and the resonance of the text with personal memories of places and people. On the shiny surface of signs — the signifier — there is no room for bodies of either the actual or virtual variety. […] What is at stake in the synthesis of immersion and interactivity is therefore nothing less than the participation of the whole of the individual in the artistic experience.
I like how this moves from the memory-body to the cerebral engagement. In short we don’t check our brains at the door — they come with us on the expedition.
And so for day 967