Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Language and Discourse Seminar Series

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Who this event is for

  • Everyone


201, JHBB, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


Immersive and Interactive Literature with speakers Dr Alison Gibbons and Dr Alice Bell, Sheffield Hallam University, and Russel Anderson, Oxford Brookes University

Experiencing Blast Theory’s Mobile Narrative Ulrike and Eamon Compliant
Dr Alison Gibbons, Sheffield Hallam University

This paper discusses the experience of participating in a mobile narrative –that is, a story-game experienced through narration over a mobile phone. Blast Theory’s (2009) Ulrike and Eamon Compliant is installed within the context of a city and participants are guided through the streets as the narrative unfolds. The paper focuses particularly on the ways in which the mobile narrative takes place in real time and in real-world locations (e.g. city streets), with the context in which the narrative is received is used as the backdrop or element of the fictional world. It also considers how second-person address (‘you’) used during mobile phone calls impacts the participant’s experience and relation to the characters.

Immersion in Digital Fiction: A Cognitive Approach
Dr Alice Bell, Sheffield Hallam University

This paper investigates immersion in digital fiction and in particular Dreaming Methods’ (2015) digital fiction installation, WALLPAPER. I profile a new cognitive deictic (Stockwell 2002) approach to immersion and report on a reader response study on immersion in WALLPAPER. Paying attention to the way that readers explicitly and implicitly talk about different types of immersion (e.g. Ryan 2016, Thon 2008), I argue that immersion in any medium is a gradable, hybrid, and dynamic process.

The Mindspace: developing co-creative narrative strategies in interactive theatre
Russel Anderson, PhD candidate, Oxford Brookes University

During the summer of 2016, Russell Anderson debuted The Mindspace, an immersive / interactive piece of theatre developed as part of his PhD.  Performed in Oxford and Edinburgh, the play was designed to hand as much co-creative control of the developing narrative over to the audience as possible, with neither actors nor audience knowing how each performance would end.  This talk will introduce some of the techniques developed for this project - particularly those whose origins lie in the field of interactive/electronic literature – and explore how they function within a theatrical setting.