Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disorientation is good for you

Check out this bit of personal interpretation from Carton Bristol.

I spent some time at the Hotel Dare at Poetik Velvets (I really can’t get enough of that ever-changing sim) and I came across a room that was sort of confusing to me. I didn’t get it. Little presents teetered down and up Willy Wonka styled conveyor belts, the Eraserhead-like sound of machinery burdened my ears, the colors were jarring.

Sometimes going into an SL environment can be disorienting. There aren’t always notecards explaining the who, what and why of an experience. This is good! Where else in any world can a visitor be given such respect for their own interpretation? These days, in the actual world, everything is over-explained with statements, exhibition panels, labels, accompanying videos...we’ve become such a service culture that we don’t allow people to think for themselves. Museums are terrible culprits in this area. Writes Stephen Weil, “the idea that a museum transmits information to visitors is, let’s face it, a bit condescending. The visitor may not share the same agenda as the creator – they may be visiting a [site] for frivolous distraction, consolation, or intellectual curiosity...” What I mean to say is, any disorientation we may feel is our own personal experience, and our individual interpretation of it is more valuable than anything anyone will ever try to s/tell us.