‘In Ulysses’ is a virtual reality game that seeks to give the player an immersive experience that unravels some of the mystery that surrounds Joyce’s most famous book. We caught up with the creator, film maker Eoghan Kidney, to find out more about the project and how to help it reach its funding target.
I have found that most readers of Ulysses are put off by Stephen Dedalus’s almost impenetrable stream of consciousness in the first three chapters. For me, the text was unpacked by Frank Delaney’s excellent podcast, Sam Slote’s annotations, Columbia University’s online version and a range of other types of media. My experience of reading Ulysses was an interactive multimedia experience.
My “In Ulysses” project was inspired by this experience and is another way of interacting with the book – this time, using the virtual format. It will be a virtual reality experience that will allow a user to inhabit the characters of Ulysses and explore the density of Joyce’s language in a fun and accessible way. The finished experience can be used on Windows, Mac or Android, but will be designed for a virtual reality headset such as the Oculus Rift – allowing the user to truly enter Joyce’s Dublin of 1904.
As a user of “In Ulysses” walks along a virtual Sandymount Strand, the “Proteus” episode will be read to them – they will hear Stephen’s thoughts as they are written – but these thoughts will then be illustrated around the user in real-time using textual annotations, images and links. A user can stop walking (therefore stopping Stephen walking) and explore these illustrations, gaining insight into the book and adding to the enjoyment of it.
Future versions will explore the experience of the book’s very own Leopold Bloom.
A fun experience, a next-gen E-Book and an educational tool revealing some of the meanings hidden within the language of James Joyce’s masterpiece – “In Ulysses” will be a new way of reading Joyce’s work and I hope it will provide a gateway to the many readers who gave up after that first try.
I’m asking Joyce fans to support this project on fundit.ie – every donation will receive a reward ranging from access to a making-of, personalised versions of the experience and real-life tours through Joyce’s Dublin. Follow the link to watch a video preview and access the funding options.
I hope you can join me on this project and bring “In Ulysses” to life.