The Screen Media Reader

The Screen Media Reader edited by Stephen Monteiro (Goodreads)

-pg. 1 Screens are in our hand or close by for all manner of everyday activity, shaping and reshaping what we do and how we do it. Over the course of a day we may have more face-to-face encounters with screens than with people. The screen is, paradoxically, our place of work and our source of leisure. It is where we go to connect to the world or to escape from it, where we go to get things done but may wind up feeling we have accomplished nothing. Whether we think of contemporary culture as rooted in images, information, data or networks, the screen lies in our path to all of them. Contemporary culture is screen culture, and it had become nearly impossible to separate our relationship with the screen from our sense of what it is to be alive.

pp. 177-179 […][T]here is more than a passing relationship between the medium of the computer and the desire to create complex fantasies within its screens. I would even posit that what is described as hypermedia is about the joy that comes from virtual travel, a phenomenon that has its roots in literature, art, and the relationship humans have always had with technology. […]

What does it mean to suggest that players inhabit the screen? Is the bridge among fantasy, screen, and reality such a flimsy one? […]

Immersion is a trop for the experiences of virtual space. Those experiences are framed by interfaces, which means that highly mediated and organised *metaphors* for seeing facilitate and encourage users to feel as if they are inside images, Ultimately, these virtual environments can only be visualised through representations, and the experiences can only be validated if the participants have the will to do so. In other words, virtual spaces have no ontological foundation, and claims that suggest participants are capable of entering into virtual spaces are more than likely claims about the strength of interfaces than they are about human experience.

[…] The confusion here is how to distinguish among the use of the tools, experience, and interpretation.

-pg 308-309 The [television] screen appears not only as a surface upon which images are projected but also as the translucent barrier to an anterior space – a space of representation (the illusion of three dimensions) that is mapped onto the physical space of the cathode ray tube. […]The appearance of a world in depth behind the television screen is, therefore, not simply and effect of the optical illusion of three dimensions that characterises the pictures shown on television. Instead, the pictorial illusion is made continuous with the reflected image of the viewer and his or her setting (walls, sofa, coffee tables), as though both take turns to occupy the same delimited space […] When the television is turned off, and the board cast image disappeared, the space it occupied is filled by the reflection, This gives the inhabitable “inside” of the television, the world in depth on the other side of the glass, a semblance of permanence.

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