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Dublin filmmaker, Eoghan Kidney is forthright about the difficulty he experiences trying to understand Stephen Dedalus’ thoughts in the “Proteus” episode of Ulysses. In his quest to understand the text he’s enlisted several different media formats including Frank Delaney’s Re:Joyce podcast, Sam Slote’s annotations to the text, and Columbia University’s online materials. Rather than surrender to the “impenetrable” text, his solution is to literally immerse himself into its reality, even if he has to create it for himself.
Kidney has started a Fund:it page asking for donations to help build an interactive virtual reality version of the “Proteus” episode called “In Ulysses.” “In Ulysses” is part videogame, part ebook, and part audiobook. The experience is designed for an Oculus Rift VR headset, but will play on more available and ubiquitous devices on Windows, iOS, and Android platforms. The virtual experience runs on the Unreal Engine which you’ll recognize immediately if you’ve ever played a first-person shooter videogame. Kidney hopes “In Ulysses” helps readers by providing sensory cues in the immersive environment alongside an audio reading, onscreen textual annotation, images, and helpful links. Like someone walking, reading, or playing a videogame, the user can stop and investigate each link, image, section of text, or environmental cue. During the demo video, which gives you a sense of how “In Ulysses” will work and look, Kidney explains the motivation behind the project and describes what the reader/player/listener experience will be like.
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