Chapter 17. Virtual and Ambient Places

It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

—ALEX, IN A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, ANTHONY BURGESS

Of Dungeons and Quakes

SEMANTIC INFORMATION CAN BE TRULY IMMERSIVE. Whether it’s an all-night dorm conversation or losing yourself in an engrossing novel, language can swallow our attention whole. When you add more layers to the semantic environment, meaningful experiences of place can emerge. Take a role-playing game such as Dungeons & Dragons (Figure 17-1). For the players, the physical surroundings—a friend’s kitchen table or the back of a hobby shop—recede into mist as the shared story of the campaign becomes more palpable and compelling. Even as ...

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