The Digital Fiction Curios
We created a virtual preservation space in the form of a curiosity shop — the Digital Fiction Curios. Like a good bric-a-brac, book or antique shop, it's full of trinkets and treasures. Each visit brings a new discovery.
Visitors to the Curios wear an Oculus VR headset to delve into their surroundings. Amongst the strange clutter of objects and artifacts are stored three important examples of digital fiction written by Campbell and Alston: Inside, The Flat and Clearance.
In these stories, audiences immerse themselves in barren fens and abandoned apartments, unlocking eerie narratives through innovative storytelling techniques.
And once they’ve explored the three stories, they can delve even deeper — discovering the literary context of the works through analysis and commentary.
It's a rewarding and thought-provoking experience that sheds new light on an influential genre.
Preserving our online heritage
Digital fiction is a huge part of our cultural heritage. Its literary and technological experimentation pushes the boundaries of what it means to “read” or “play” in digital spaces. Its writers, animators and coders have shaped the nature of websites and games — that’s why it’s so important to retain these pieces for future generations.
Our Curios is very different to the archives and databases traditionally associated with literary preservation. By inviting readers to make their own way through an interactive, immersive Virtual Reality narrative, it breathes new creative life into the works it displays.
We plan to expand the space to preserve more examples of digital fiction, creating not so much a curiosity shop as a curiosity museum.
By doing so, we’re creating a new form of preservation — and making sure our digital heritage isn’t deleted.
Professor Alice Bell is interested in how digital technology can enhance and evolve literature. She studies literature written specifically for digital media, which often combine text with images, film, and sound. As a literary-linguist, Alice is interested in how language works in digital fiction. She is also interested in how readers process these texts cognitively.
Video and images courtesy of One to One Development Trust. You can find out more and download Digital Fiction Curios here.