(if) Only You Could Understand

(if) only you could understand is a virtual reality poem by Emma Atkinson, whose passages are furthered by interactivity. Gesture-based interactions of words in these passages forwards the progression of each phrase. Words take on literal meaning but can also take on connotative ideas through their interactivity. Actions trigger events through grabbing and touching. The monochromatic white look highlights the visual aspect of language via each floating stanza which evolves throughout the experience:

“You Twist my words Things Change But I can only Bend so far Days turn into Night There is always More I can feel the Distance You can Break me, But only I can Destroy me”

“I am interested in giving users a new way to interact with language which augments typical usage. I am curious to understand how virtually manipulating words alters our perception of meaning through this new medium. I am interested in the supposed haptic aspect of VR as a medium and its mediated relationship to represented objects. I am heightening the physicality of these phrases, but I am aware that they all still remain in the realm of artifice. Am I setting up structures that have consequences?”

Digital artist Emma Atkinson is interested in the haptic communication of virtual reality and games. Through animations and interactions, she focuses on creating narratives as a means for experiences with the user. She likes to explore the concept of communication and the connotations that people create through their experiences that shape their perception. Currently, she is a senior at Clarkson University, dual majoring in Digital Arts & Sciences and Communication with a minor in mathematics.