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The Affective Potential of Simulated Imagery in Digital Documentaries


Hunger in LA (2012) Dir: Nonny de la Pena


The validity of the photographic image as an authentic means of capturing reality has been heavily covered in literature pertaining to documentary ontology. In his seminal work, The Myth of Total Cinema, film critic André Bazin notes that advancements in cinematic technology are driven by the desire to create the closest possible mimesis of our own surroundings; capturing a “complete imitation of nature”.[1] Bazin’s notions of photographic realism as indexical to authenticity are also echoed by Roland Barthes who claims that a photograph is a “certificate of presence”.[2] However, in the past two decades, the documentary genre has seen a rise of animation as tool of documenting the un-representable (i.e. subjective realities, experiences of neurodivergent participants, and events no longer available for documentation).


For instance; the use of rotoscoping in non-fiction films like Waltz with Bashir (2008) and Tower (2016) or the 3D rendered style of the Academy Award winning short documentary Ryan (2004). Nearly concurrently, the documentary landscape witnesses a shift from standard, passive viewing experiences of non-fiction (i.e. in the cinema or on DVD, streaming platform etc.) to more interactive and participatory forms of documentary storytelling such as web-based i-docs (interactive documentaries), Virtual Reality (VR) documentaries and documentary “videogames”. Though distinct in their forms and approaches, these digital-based documentaries purport to engage a viewer on a deeper, more immersive level. There are claims that immersion is synonymous with fostering a sense of “liveness”; a term commonly associated with both theatre performance and, later, videogame rhetoric.[3] Similarly, Patrícia Nogueira uses the term “presence” to define how the interactive/digital documentary viewer might “forget about the physical place where they stand and have the impression of being absorbed into the diegesis of a digital world.”[4].


Many have championed the affective potentials of immersive documentary storytelling as a means of both capturing reality and integrating the viewer into the digital reality they are presented with. Nogueira goes on to state that “As an embodied experience, interactive documentary produces an affect within the spectator’s body.”[5] However, it is interesting to note that due to the technological challenges of attempting to transport a viewer into a fully formed, digital reality these digital documentaries often employ simulated animation as their visual basis (as opposed to photorealism). Such is the case with the VR Documentary Hunger in Los Angeles by Nonny de la Peña, Traffic Games’ 2004 videogame JFK Reloaded and Jacqueline Olive’s prototype of a Second Life-based documentary called Always in Season Island. Simulation, in Jean Baudrillard’s definition, is “opposed to representation” or rather “stems from the radical negation of sign as value”.[6] It seems almost paradoxical then to attempt to converge simulated imagery and the documentary film; a genre that purports to represent authenticity/truth. However, the digital documentary that uses simulated imagery as its visual basis may be finding its truth claims not in visual imagery itself, but rather in the embodied, immersive and affective experience it provides.

 

“HUNGER IN LOS ANGELES is a recreation of an actual event at a food bank line. The audio is REAL. You experience what happened wearing virtual reality goggles that track where you look and how you move. IMMERSIVE JOURNALISM, the future of news, puts you INSIDE the story.”[7]


Virtual Reality (VR) documentaries offer a range of immersive characteristics that purports to “submerge” a viewer into another world.[8] The VR experience equips the viewer with a mounted headset that allows them to frame the scenery (dictating what is seen at what time), move about a space or extend their field of vision to 360 degrees. By doing so, VR non-fiction attempts to play on the viewer’s emotional and/or affective responses to the virtual stimulus in the hope that they will engage and connect with the documentary subject matter on a deeper level.[9] The term “empathy machine” has been inextricably linked to the discourse surrounding the affective affordances of non-fiction virtual reality journalism and documentaries. In Grant Bollmer’s definition “Empathy machine refers to any attempt to make sensible to oneself the emotional experience of another via technology, often with the goal of inhabiting another body”.[10] Indeed, it is this idea of active embodiment over passive viewing that VR documentarians claim to foster a heightened empathy towards documentary stories and subjects. Discourse surrounding the term empathy has taken on a range of varying definitions. According to Bollmer, there are at least eight different contemporary theories of empathy with vast variations and disparities.[11] The concept can be traced back to the esthetics term Einfühlung which described man’s emotional response and connection to nature or an observer’s emotional response to works of art.[12] In the early 20th century, Theordor Lipps expanded the notion of Einfühlung to characterize man’s emotional responses to his fellow man. For Lipps, simulation was a key component of Einfühlung; to simulate another’s emotions would be to then understand their state, because we can only understand the other if we recognize the feeling in ourselves first.[13] Using this framework, the presence of empathy is contingent upon this reciprocal relationship of simulating the other’s feelings.


Nonny de la Peña’s VR documentary, Hunger in Los Angeles (L.A) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012.[14] The non-fiction piece uses factual, recorded audio from outside a food bank in Los Angeles as a man suffers from a diabetic attack whilst waiting in a crowded line. The audio is extremely raw; a noisy soundscape of L.A traffic interspersed with chatter from a myriad of languages mixed under commanding directions from food bank employees. In sharp contrast to the cacophony of sounds, the viewer of Hunger in L.A is visually presented with a simulated re-enactment of the food bank scene; complete with a lineup of fixed emotion avatars, wholly unreal but human-like nonetheless. These avatars are rudimentary with less physical details than a Sims or a Second Life character. When the diabetic man collapses onto the sidewalk some of the avatars in the queue turn to see what happened, and only few actually “react” to his fall. While some remain stationary, certain avatars crowd around him, same fixed emotion, with subtle body movements that infer shock or dismay (i.e. hands clasped over mouths, or heads cradled in hands). All the while the viewer, equipped with their VR headset, is present at the event and able to move about the scene framing the experience in an embodied, virtual reality. According to Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws, the pioneers of immersive documentaries, such as Nonny de la Peña, are not explicitly concerned with visual realism. In fact, de la Pena et. al conducted research on VR documentary audiences and found that simulated aesthetics like those present in Hunger in L.A did not detract from the realism or truthfulness of the participant’s experience.[15] However, one must be careful to not conflate the perceived authenticity or truthfulness of a non-fiction work with its affective affordances, because validity is not synonymous with the emotional impact. Chris Milk, another VR documentarian, has claimed that “To be ‘connected’ is to experience the feeling of another, to ‘empathize’ with them”.[16] However, in recent years, philosopher Amy Coplan has come out in favour of narrower, distinct categories of empathy in an attempt to distance empathy discourse away from vague definitions such as the Milk quote mentioned above. For Coplan, empathy as emotional affect manifests in three ways; emotional contagion, pseudo-empathy and true empathy.[17] Firstly, emotional contagion (inspired by the definitions of Elaine Hatfield, John Cacioppo and Richard Rapson) is “the tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of another person, and, consequently, to converge emotionally”.[18] Secondly, pseudo-empathy is an orientation whereby we mistakenly perceive other’s emotions as our own (through our own memory, subjective recollections etc.) and, in turn, we falsely believe we truly understand them.[19] Pseudo-empathy can be thought of as a reorientation from objectivity to self-centricity. Lastly, true empathy entails divorcing ourselves from this self-centricity and empathizing solely based on the unique context the other presents.[20] In the case of Hunger in L.A there is little to no room for emotional contagion based on the rudimentary, simulated images. The avatars present in the lineup, with their fixed emotion gazes and limited movements, are difficult to mimic. Even in the case of the man who has gone into diabetic shock; we do not hear him crying out for help or see the pain on his face. The simulated imagery lacks the sufficient detail to transfer emotional affect from character to viewer through emotional contagion. So, using Coplan’s framework, we are inevitably left with either the possibility of pseudo-empathy or empathy proper. However, it is interesting to note it may be the precise fact that there is a lack of emotional signifiers (emotional contagion agents) from the avatars present in Hunger in L.A that more empathy might be generated on behalf of the film’s viewer. The overall tone of witnessing Hunger in L.A is helplessness. Even though he is equipped with a VR headset and free to move about the scene, manipulate the framing etc., the viewer has no power to directly interfere with the unfolding events. This limitation, as Mandy Rose claims, is akin to reducing the participant of the VR documentary as a mere voyeur that is “perhaps deeply engaged but powerless to influence their world”.[21] To add to this potential frustration, the scene also highlights the ambivalence of certain bystanders who seemingly walk around the man without acknowledging his presence, driven by their need to secure a meal from the food bank. Near the end of the film it appears as though one of the avatars attempts to cut to the front of the queue in the midst of the commotion. This is reinforced by the accompanying recorded audio, as a food bank employee shouts “No! No. Go to the end of the line. Don’t touch her. I’m not going to give you food. Go to the end of the line”. As this confrontation unfolds, many of the avatars leave the side of the diabetic man, still convulsing on the ground, in an attempt to reprimand the woman who has sneakily made her way to the front of the line. As Sanchez points out, one of the goals of Hunger in L.A is to make us feel empathy towards the man in diabetic shock, but it also functions to “incite us to feel astonished by the lack of response of people at the scene”.[22] Almost paradoxically, one could argue it is in the inability to mimic the emotional states of the other and to subsequently differentiate and distance oneself from the simulated subjects where the affective potential of Hunger in L.A is the most powerful. This differentiation and distancing effect, paired with the lack of power (inability to directly influence the unfolding events), can certainly lead to frustration on behalf of the viewer but does it incite empathy? Using Coplan’s definition of pseudo-empathy, it is perhaps this sense of helplessness and ineffectiveness that allows the viewer to empathize with the man who is convulsing on the sidewalk; unable to help himself and seemingly with no direct help from any of the bystanders. Like the man, the viewer cannot do anything, say anything or enact change within the scene. One could argue that this form of empathy is not divorced from self-centricity as our subjective experience in the virtual reality is mimicked by the main subject of the film.  By participating in Hunger in L.A one is, perhaps unconsciously, conflating the confines of the immersive, simulated experience with the lack of agency that is presented to him through the non-fiction narrative in a pseudo-empathetic way.

 

DALLAS, TEXAS. 12:30pm. November 22nd 1963. The Texas Schoolbook Depository, sixth floor. The weather is fine. You have a rifle.”[23]

Videogames are, for the most part, a form of escapism. Often times they depict fantastical worlds (as is the case with games like Final Fantasy or World of Warcraft) or at very least a sense of heightened realism (Grand Theft Auto or Assassin’s Creed). A relationship between videogames and documentaries could seem paradoxical at the first, but as Tracy Fullerton explains there seems to be a tonal shift occurring in the gaming world; from depictions of supernatural or magical scenarios to content and storylines that are purporting to authentically portray, re-enact or recreate historical events.[24] For instance, there are numerous examples of factually-based video games that seemingly draw influence from historical war events. Even to hone-in on videogames depicting the events of World War 2 brings up numerous examples: Call of Duty, Brothers in Arms, Medal of Honor, the Battlefield series and many more. However, we must bear in mind that nearly all videogames, including the ones mentioned above, are visually enacted by simulated animation and not photorealism. Thus, the question becomes how do these videogame simulations, devoid of photorealism’s established truth value, ground themselves in the authenticity of a historical event?

JFK Reloaded was released by Scotland-based gaming company Traffic Games in 2004 and is designed to be a ballistics simulation of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.[25] The game opens on a crudely animated, simulation of the setting (the Dealey Plaza) and the subjects (John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, John and Nellie Connally in a convertible limousine, multiple police escorts on motorcycles etc.). The viewer is afforded a first-person vantage point of shooter Lee Harvey Oswald, watching Kennedy’s motorcade travel through the plaza in Dallas, Texas. The only gameplay functions presented to players are a) the ability to aim the target (sniper scope) b) the ability to fire a shot from the rifle. It’s a seemingly simple game with a simple goal; to shoot and kill a simulated version of President John F. Kennedy. There are no formal instructions presented to the player, however, it is assumed he knows what to do in part due to the ubiquity of one famous, photorealistic recording. In what has been called “the most important 26 seconds in film history” the Zapruder film, recorded by Abraham Zapruder, consists of the infamous 486 frames that captured the moment that Kennedy was assassinated on November 22nd 1963.[26] The ubiquity of the Zapruder film has been engrained in our collective memory of this historical event, Fullerton noting that she has seen this film “hundreds of times in the past”.[27] As a player of JFK Reloaded, your goal is not just to shoot John F. Kennedy, rather to simulate, as closely as possible, the how and when of the shots fired; in part due to your recollection of the Zapruder footage. This creates a sort of cognitive dissonance on behalf of the player as they try to mediate memory, familiarity, historical fact and simulation in one fell swoop. In fact, Poremba explains that after the player fires their rifle, they are experiencing the “impact and familiarity” of the Zapruder footage which has been solidified through our collective consciousness.[28] However, as a game that purports to simulate historical fact, JFK Reloaded cannot solely rely on the recollection of events through Zapruder’s documentation. After he fires the shots into Kennedy’s limousine, the player is critiqued and scored on their success in juxtaposition to the 1963 Warren Commission; the United States Government’s official report on the assassination. The player’s actions in the game are measured against historical documentation and the Warren Commission represents the indexical tie to “the truth”.[29] As such, the point of JFK Reloaded is not only to kill the president, acting as Oswald held up on the sixth floor of The Texas Schoolbook Depository, rather it is to accurately simulate the forensic databases (The Warren Commission) and documentation (Zapruder footage). Your initial success in JFK Reloaded is contingent upon your knowledge and/or memory of this data. As Poremba elaborates that JFK Reloaded is really “a documentary about this data set”.[30] One could argue that this is a very clinical, emotionally removed re-enactment of such a deeply emotional and memorable event. Unlike the previous case study, Hunger in L.A, the goal of the simulation is not to inspire empathy and understanding through immersive means, rather to ruminate on the event of JFK’s assassination both scientifically and analytically. That being said, though JFK Reloaded could be thought of as “a documentary about the dataset”, it is impossible to ignore the troubling nature of re-enacting and acting as the catalyst of such a deeply emotional and traumatic event. Indeed, upon initial release, JFK Reloaded was subject to controversy and condemnation. Senator Ted Kennedy went as far as to call the game “despicable” and a review by Slate.com assured to its readership the experience was “nauseating”.[31] However, in analyzing the affective potentials of animated non-fiction, filmmaker and media theorist Joseph Kraemer points to re-creation or re-enactment as a creative way of reconciling emotional reactions and memory as it pertains to traumatic events. Within the realm of animated documentaries that represent harrowing events, Kraemer states that the subject of trauma is both “absent and present” in an animated depiction.[32] In the case of JFK Reloaded, the trauma is observed as factual through its use of grounding, factual documents (our recollection of the Zapruder footage and the Warren Commission grading system) but absent through the use of simulated imagery; John F. Kennedy doesn’t look like John F. Kennedy, rather more closely resembles a crudely animated figurine. There is no photorealistic imagery available to the player that makes the characters and environment of the simulation “present”. Kramer’s article on trauma and representation in the animated documentary quotes psychotherapist Stephen Levine, stating “The drive to complete and heal trauma is as powerful and tenacious as the symptoms it creates. The urge to resolve trauma through re-enactment can be severe and compulsive. We are inextricably drawn into situations that replicate the original trauma in both obvious and unobvious ways”.[33] Using Levine’s theory of healing trauma through re-creation, one could argue that JFK Reloaded, being what Poremba describes as “a documentary of the dataset” could also be seen as means of trying to reconcile the trauma of the event through meticulous simulated re-enactment; regardless of the fact that you are the one with the rifle in your hand.

 

Can a virtual world heal the legacy of racial violence in America?[34]

Existing between the realm of social media platform and videogame, Second Life is an online virtual world where users embody virtual avatars to socialize with each other and meet unique personal goals such as building a shop, buying a home or cultivating a career. One’s avatar in Second Life is completely under the command of its human user which is to say the avatar has no semblance of autonomy outside of its user’s supervision. The two (avatar and player) are bound together in the virtual space. As David Owen explains, within the discourse of avatar theory “the corporeal body of the player remains in the real world while the thinking/feeling projected sense of the player’s physical presence is extended into the game world in the virtual body of the avatar”.[35] Owen and numerous other theorists have written extensively about the affective potentials of avatar embodiment in both videogames and virtual communities. Acting as an avatar within a virtual space or environment allows the player to fully submerge into the given reality of the simulated world they are presented with, giving way to a suspended disbelief of such an unreal landscape due to what Herbert Blau calls “consensual hallucination”.[36] The act of operating in a virtual space, paired with the suspension of disbelief, has the potential to present the player with unique, novel experiences they might not have access to in the “real world”. Since a platform like Second Life is available to countless countries around the world, a player can potentially be exposed to a level of diversification (to identities such as LGTQ+ players, avatars associated with various religious backgrounds etc.) that is not readily available to them in the “real world”. This exposition to new environments, new people and novel experiences, Owen claims, has the affective potential of creating substantial change in the player’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviour in both the real world and online.[37] 

Always in Season (AIS) Island is a Second Life documentary prototype produced by Jacqueline Olive that “takes a contemporary look” at the African American lynchings that took place in America during the late 19th century – early 20th century.[38] In participation with the Bay Area Video Coalition, AIS Island is part of a larger, on-going project about racialized violence that includes a full-length photorealistic documentary and an exhibit of “lynching postcards”.[39] The Second Life engine was used to simulate and re-enact the numerous lynchings that took place outside the Marion City Courthouse in Marion, Indiana. The producers and designers behind AIS Island used the platform to design and create an almost exact replica of the courthouse and its surroundings, as well as recruit a number of Second Life actor/avatars to participate in the scene in the attempt to closely mimic what an actual lynching “event” would have looked like (hundreds of on-lookers, cheers from the crowd etc.) The viewer of this documentary would then have the opportunity to embody their own virtual avatar, entering the Second Life space and witnessing the phenomenon. “You can be a passive spectator” Jacqueline Olive notes in the project’s promotional video “or you can take on the role of people who were actually present at the Marion lynching”.[40] The goal of AIS Island is no doubt to elicit an emotional or affective response from its audience based on historical fact, not so dissimilar to the immediate reaction that JFK Reloaded can induce. However, unlike JFK Reloaded, the avatar embodiment that is present in AIS Island could potentially deepen its affective potential on its viewer through the framework of Brian Massumi’s distinction between “movement vision” and “mirror vision”.[41] In mirror vision there is only a single axis sight, much like a first-person perspective (i.e. you can see your limbs move, but you can’t see yourself interact in the world as others would).[42] To see yourself in real-time from the same vantage point of others would be to have movement vision in the virtual space.[43] The emphasis here should be on the notion of real-time, as movement vision does not account for recordings of one’s self after the fact. With the confluence of a) have complete control over one’s avatar actions in the virtual space and b) the player having a movement vision orientation of their Avatar in Second Life, a player can experience a “single cybernetic unity” with their avatar.[44] This unity creates a feedback loop of identification; fostering the belief that one’s avatar (which is oneself) can create change and influence within their virtual environment. Further to this point, Jacquline Olive specifically designed AIS Island to be replayed time and again by the same player/avatar unity. She notes “you can learn steps you can take so you can actually go back onto the courthouse square and stop a lynching”.[45] The viewer of AIS Island is afforded the ability to embody an avatar that promotes self-determinism; able to absorb the scene/setting and feel as though they can take on an active role in the influence of the unfolding events. Patrícia Nogueira claims that interactive documentaries allow its viewers to be more than just “emancipated spectators” – the documentary text can shift and change based on the actions of those interacting with it, creating a “narrative that is rebuilt each time it is accessed”.[46] This allows the player to have presence in the simulated reality as opposed to simply being voyeuristic (the phenomenological conflict in Hunger in L.A). Despite the fact AIS Island is conducted through a Second Life engine, the designers and producers of the project took great lengths to construct intricately detailed re-enactments of the Marion lynchings and their respective setting. Much like JFK Reloaded, AIS Island acts, in part, as a simulation of historical events, however, it can be argued that the level of interactivity present in the Second Life experience and the movement vision afforded by the use of avatars immerses the viewer deeper into the world of the re-enactment. Once again, drawing influence from Owen, it must be reiterated that the ability to see oneself as an active agent in a historical recreation can potentially alter beliefs, morals and values and affect greater change in the individual’s relationship to the harrowing truth present in the documentary text itself.

 

Conclusion

Shifting frameworks from photorealism as truthful to simulation as truthful is fraught with conflicts, but then again, so is purporting to “capture reality” in the first place. In her analysis of JFK Reloaded, Poremba quotes the renowned documentarian Errol Morris who states “there is no veritas lens providing a magical truthful picture in film documentary”.[47] The digital documentary (whether VR, web-based or videogame), with its interactive, embodied and immersive affordances doesn’t necessarily attempt to capture reality within a certain lens (i.e. a particular visual style), rather it attempts to foster an orientation from passive viewing to active liveness. Owen, quoting Philip Auslander writes “The emerging definition of liveness may be built primarily around the audience’s affective experience. To the extent that websites and other virtual entities respond to us in real time, they feel live to us, and this may be the kind of liveness we now value”.[48] Indeed, it seems as though this re-definition of liveness or presence is precisely the space in which digital documentaries attempt to find their truth claims; in the ability to foster a sense of “being there”, situating the documentary viewer in the midst of the narrative. To consider a documentary text not as the past but as the present could promote greater affective potentials to those who participate with it; because now there is a feeling of accountability and agency in addition to simply observing and learning about past events. If one sees himself as an active agent who is able to incite change within the documentary text (as is the case with AIS Island) he is effectively moving from a position of objectively witnessing the other to subjectively becoming the other in real time, regardless of the level of realism that is visually presented to him. Immersion can foster a sense of embodiment (as is the case with Hunger in L.A) but the greatest affective potential of digital documentaries lies within the ability to interact with the documentary text itself in stark opposition to the orientation of passive voyeurism that has, so far, dominated the non-fiction landscape.


Bibliography

 

Barthes, Roland, and Richard Howard. “Section 36: Authentication” In Camera Lucida, 1st ed., (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), 87


Bazin, A., & Gray, H. “The Myth of Total Cinema”. In What is cinema? (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1967), 23-27


Bollmer, Grant. “Empathy Machines.” Media International Australia 165, no. 1, 63–76, 2017.


Coplan, Amy and Goldie, Peter “Understanding Empathy,” in Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 3-18

 

de la Peña, Nonny, Peggy Weil, Joan Llobera, Bernhard Spanlang, Doron Friedman, Maria V.


Sanchez-Vives, and Mel Slater. "Immersive Journalism: Immersive Virtual Reality for the First-Person Experience of News." Presence (Cambridge, Mass, 2010.), no. 4, 291-301.

 

Favero, Paolo. "Getting our Hands Dirty (again): Interactive Documentaries and the Meaning of Images in the Digital Age." Journal of Material Culture 18, no. 3, 259-277, 2013

 

Kraemer, Joseph A. "Waltz with Bashir (2008): Trauma and Representation in the Animated Documentary." Journal of Film and Video 67, no. 3-4, 2015

 

Massumi, Brian. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. (Duke University Press, 2007).

 

MIT Open Documentary Lab “Hunger in Los Angeles - Immersive Journalism”. MIT Open Documentary Lab, (2012). https://docubase.mit.edu/project/hunger-in-los-angeles/.

 

Nogueira, Patrícia. "Ways of Affection: How Interactive Documentaries Affect the Interactor's Felt Experience and Performance." New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 17, (2020), 49-68

 

Olive, Jacqueline. “AIS Island - Virtual Reality Promo.” Video, 2016 https://vimeo.com/171991923.

 

Owen, David. “Chapter One: Digital Like Me.” In Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 23–73

 

Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., Concordia University, 79 – 102, 2011

 

Rose, Mandy. "The Immersive Turn: Hype and Hope in the Emergence of Virtual Reality as a     Nonfiction Platform." Studies in Documentary Film 12, no. 2, 132-149, 2020

 

Rosenbaum, Ron. “What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us?” Smithsonian.com, October 1, 2013, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-does-the-zapruder-film-really-tell-us-14194/.

 

Sánchez Laws, Ana Luisa. "Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy?" Digital Journalism 8, no. 2, (2020), 1-16.

 

Tuohey, Jason. “JFK Reloaded Game Causes Controversy,” PC World, November 24, 2004, https://www.pcworld.com/article/118717/article.html.

 

Whalen, Zach, Laurie Tayler, and Tracy Fullerton. “Documentary Games” Essay. In Playing the Past History and Nostalgia in Video Games. (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008).

 

Footnotes

[1] Bazin André. “The Myth of Total Cinema .” Essay. In What Is Cinema?: Essays Selected by Hugh Gray. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1971), 23-27


[2] Barthes, Roland, and Richard Howard. “Section 36: Authentication” In Camera Lucida, 1st ed., 87. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981)


[3] Owen, David “Digital Like Me” in Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2017), 36-38

 

[4] Nogueira, Patrícia. "Ways of Affection: How Interactive Documentaries Affect the Interactor's Felt Experience and Performance." New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 17 (2020), 49-68

 

[5] Nogueira, Patrícia. "Ways of Affection: How Interactive Documentaries Affect the Interactor's Felt Experience and Performance." New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 17 (2020), 49-68

 

[6] Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulacra,” in Simulacra and Simulation (Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2019), 6

 

[7] Hunger in Los Angeles - Immersive Journalism. MIT Open Documentary Lab, 2012. https://docubase.mit.edu/project/hunger-in-los-angeles/.


[8]  Rose, Mandy. "The Immersive Turn: Hype and Hope in the Emergence of virtual Reality as a Nonfiction Platform." Studies in Documentary Film 12, no. 2, 2018, 132-149.

 

[9] Sánchez Laws, Ana Luisa. "Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy?" Digital Journalism 8, no. 2 (2017), 1-16.


[10] Bollmer, Grant. “Empathy Machines.” Media International Australia 165, no. 1 (2017), 63.  


[11] Bollmer, Grant. “Empathy Machines.” Media International Australia 165, no. 1 (2017), 63-74.

 

[12] Sánchez Laws, Ana Luisa. "Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy?" Digital Journalism 8, no. 2 (2017), 1-16.

 

[13] Sánchez Laws, Ana Luisa. "Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy?" Digital Journalism 8, no. 2 (2017), 1-16.

 

[14] Hunger in Los Angeles - Immersive Journalism. MIT Open Documentary Lab, 2012. https://docubase.mit.edu/project/hunger-in-los-angeles/.


[15] de la Peña, Nonny, Peggy Weil, Joan Llobera, Bernhard Spanlang, Doron Friedman, Maria V. Sanchez-Vives, and Mel Slater. "Immersive Journalism: Immersive Virtual Reality for the First-Person Experience of News." Presence (Cambridge, Mass, 2010.) 19, no. 4, 291-301.

 

[16] Rose, Mandy. "The Immersive Turn: Hype and Hope in the Emergence of Virtual Reality as a Nonfiction Platform." Studies in Documentary Film 12, no. 2, 2020, 132-149.

 

[17] Coplan, Amy and Goldie, Peter “Understanding Empathy,” in Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 5-20.

 

[18] Coplan, Amy and Goldie, Peter “Understanding Empathy,” in Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 5.

 

[19] Coplan, Amy and Goldie, Peter “Understanding Empathy,” in Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 8.

 

[20] Coplan, Amy and Goldie, Peter “Understanding Empathy,” in Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 10.

 

[21] Rose, Mandy. "The Immersive Turn: Hype and Hope in the Emergence of Virtual Reality as a Nonfiction Platform." Studies in Documentary Film 12, no. 2 (2020), 140

 

[22] Sánchez Laws, Ana Luisa. "Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy?" Digital Journalism 8, no. 2 (2017), 1-16.

 

[23] Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., (Concordia University, 2011),  79.

 

[24] Whalen, Zach, Laurie Tayler, and Tracy Fullerton. “Documentary Games” Essay. In Playing the Past History and Nostalgia in Video Games. (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008), 1. 

 

[25] Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., (Concordia University, 2011), 80.

 

[26] Rosenbaum, Ron. “What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us?,” Smithsonian.com (Smithsonian Institution, October 1, 2013), https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-does-the-zapruder-film-really-tell-us-14194/.

 

[27] Whalen, Zach, Laurie Tayler, and Tracy Fullerton. “Documentary Games” Essay. In Playing the Past History and Nostalgia in Video Games. (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008), 20


[28] Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., (Concordia University, 2011), 88.


[29] Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., (Concordia University, 2011), 81.


[30] Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., (Concordia University, 2011), 91.


[31] Tuohey, Jason. “JFK Reloaded Game Causes Controversy,” PC World, November 24, 2004, https://www.pcworld.com/article/118717/article.html.

 

[32] Kraemer, Joseph A. "Waltz with Bashir (2008): Trauma and Representation in the Animated Documentary." Journal of Film and Video 67, no. 3-4 (2015), 60.

 

[33] Kraemer, Joseph A. "Waltz with Bashir (2008): Trauma and Representation in the Animated Documentary." Journal of Film and Video 67, no. 3-4 (2015), 59.


[34] Olive, Jacqueline. “AIS Island - Virtual Reality Promo.” Video, 2016 https://vimeo.com/171991923.

 

[35] Owen, David. “Chapter One: Digital Like Me.” In Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 60

 

[36] Owen, David. “Chapter One: Digital Like Me.” In Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 26

 

[37] Owen, David. “Chapter One: Digital Like Me.” In Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 27

 

[38] Olive, Jacqueline. “AIS Island - Virtual Reality Promo.” Video, 2016 https://vimeo.com/171991923.

 

[39] Olive, Jacqueline. “AIS Island - Virtual Reality Promo.” Video, 2016 https://vimeo.com/171991923.

 

[40] Olive, Jacqueline. “AIS Island - Virtual Reality Promo.” Video, 2016 https://vimeo.com/171991923.

 

[41] Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007).

 

[42] Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 48

 

[43] Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 50

 

[44] Owen, David. “Chapter One: Digital Like Me.” In Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 77

 

[45] Olive, Jacqueline. “AIS Island - Virtual Reality Promo.” Video, 2016 https://vimeo.com/171991923.

 

[46] Nogueira, Patrícia. "Ways of Affection: How Interactive Documentaries Affect the Interactor's Felt Experience and Performance." New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 17, (2020), 50.


[47] Poremba, Cindy. “Real|Unreal: Crafting Actuality in the Documentary Video Game.” PhD diss., (Concordia University, 2011), 93.


[48] Owen, David. “Chapter One: Digital Like Me.” In Player and Avatar: the Affective Potential of Videogames, (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2017), 24

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