Virtual Reality for Ulysses

This may be the new way to "read" Ulysses, with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

By Matthew Skwiat, Contributing Editor
October / November 2014

Upon completion of his masterpiece Ulysses, James Joyce told his French translator Jacques Benoîst-Méchin, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” Joyce’s prescient words have proven all too true as his famous novel continues to perplex, astound, and flabbergast his ablest critics. The mystique of Ulysses as an impenetrable tome and a challenge for millions of readers who have attempted to climb the formidable literary mountain and found themselves retreating in frustration are in for a treat thanks to Irish filmmaker Eoghan Kidney who is set to design a virtual reality game based on Joyce’s famous novel.

It’s titled “Ulysses: Proteus,” named after a chapter from the book, and it will employ an Oculus Rift headset for a virtual visionary experience where the player wanders across Dublin in the guise of Stephen Dedalus on that famous day of June 16, 1904. For those who always meant to read Ulysses and haven’t gotten around to it, you can now play it, as the game will hopefully combine the prose of Joyce with an interactive e-book style format that will open up readers and gamers alike to a whole new Joycean world.

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