Hamlet on the Holodeck

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Originally published in 1997, Hamlet on the Holodeck arguably kickstarted the discussion about the future of narratives.


"Hamlet on the Holodeck," Twenty years Later - THE NEW YORKER, August 30, 2017:


NEW YORK TIMES, July 18, 1997:

She is less convincing when she is celebrating the potential of electronic narratives. Although she tries hard to inflate the significance of her examples, they always end up sounding more like the mindless computer games we already know than emotionally engaging works of art.

Even more disturbing are Ms. Murray's failures to grapple with the social consequences of virtual reality and the blurring of lines between fantasy and fact that it nurtures.

She is cheerful about "the consensual hallucination" shared by people in MUD's and the possibility of one day playing the role, in cyberspace, of a favorite television character's next-door neighbor. As technology develops, she contends, "we will slowly get used to living in a fantasy environment.

For Ms. Murray, this is a wonderful thing. For others, it is a form of escapism, escapism that can foster a retreat from the problems and pleasures of the real world.