Unlike Roberta, who existed in the
world, Lorna the main character of my first interactive
videodisk never left her one room apartment. The objects
in her room were very much like those in The Dante Hotel.
Except that there was a television set. As Lorna watched
the news and ads, she became fearful, afraid to leave
her tiny room. Viewers were invited to liberate Lorna
from her web of fears by accessing buttons on their remote
control unit that corresponded to numbers placed on the
items in her room. Instead of being passive, the action
was literally in their own hands. Every object in Lorna's
room contains a number and becomes a chapter in her life
that opens into branching sequences.
The viewer/participant accesses information
about Lorna's past, future and personal conflicts via
these objects. Many images on the screen are of the remote
control device Lorna uses to change television channels.
Because viewer/participants also use a nearly identical
unit to direct the disc action, a metaphoric link or point
of identification is established and surrogate decisions
are made for Lorna. The telephone was Lorna's link to
the outside world. Viewer/participants chose to voyeuristically
overhear conversations of different contexts as they trespassed
the cyberspace of her hard pressed life. There were three
endings: Lorna shoots her television set, commits suicide,
or, what we Northern Californians consider the worst of
all, she moves to Los Angeles.
The plot has multiple variations that
can be seen backwards, forwards, at increased or decreased
speeds, and from several points of view. There is no hierarchy
in the ordering of decisions. And the icons were made
often of cut off and dislocated body parts such as a mouth,
or an eye.