If, like Virginia Woolf, you could never read James Joyce’s Ulysses from start to finish, then here’s another way to experience the modernist classic. Virtually rather than textually. According to The Creator’s Project, “an Irish filmmaker named Eoghan Kidney is designing a virtual reality video game that uses an Oculus Rift headset to put the player in the shoes of Stephen Dedalus as he meanders through Dublin on June 16th, 1904.” On his Fundit page and in the video above, Mr. Kidney (not to be confused with Leopold Bloom’s burnt kidney breakfast) gives us an example of how the “In Ulysses” project will work:
My “In Ulysses” project is another way of experiencing the book – this time, using the virtual format. It will be a virtual reality videogame that will allow a user to inhabit the characters of Ulysses and experience the density of Joyce’s language in a fun and accessible way….
As a user of “In Ulysses” walks along a virtual Sandymount Strand, the book will be read to them – they will hear Stephen’s thoughts as they are written – but these thoughts will then be illustrated around the user in real-time using textual annotations, images and links. A user can stop walking (therefore stopping Stephen walking) and explore these illustrations, gaining insight into the book and adding to the enjoyment of it.
“In Ulysses” has already raised €4000, enough to fund its prototype. No target date for its release has been announced. And, from what I can tell, the consumer version of the Oculus Rift won’t be released until next year. So, like any good reader of Ulysses, you’ll need to have a little patience.
H/T Eric O.