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Seeing the World in New Ways

In a long, but fascinating article in the journal, E-Media Studies, Lori Landay, examines the new frontiers of experience being explored within the context of computer games and virtual worlds. She begins with a reference to Soviet filmmaker, Dziga Vertov’s, description of those new perspectives opened up by the movie camera. In the 1920′s, he coined the term “kino-eye” as a way of personifying, and illuminating the power of a then, new media: film. In the following passage, Vertov gives voice to the camera:

“Now and forever, I free myself from human immobility, I am in constant motion, I draw near, then away from objects, I crawl under, I climb onto them. I move apace with the muzzle of a galloping horse, I pluge full speed into a crowd, I outstrip running soldiers, I fall on my back, I ascend with an airplane, I plunge and soar together with plunging and soaring bodies. Now I, a camera, fling myself … (into) the chaos of movement.”

Landay then springs forward eighty years to the present, discussing those new perspectives that are for the first time possible, not only for well financed film makers, but for anyone with a relatively up-to-date networked computer. Her article, “Virtual KinoEye: Kinetic Camera, Machinima, and Virtual Subjectivity in Second Life,” is well worth a read, capturing as it does, why many of us are finding that digital media in general and virtual worlds in particular are so full of promise.

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