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ANASTASIYA V. EKIMOVA
National Institute of Design,
INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY: DOCUMENTARY AND VIRTUALITY
Abstract. The article is devoted to research of a new phenomenon for documentary practice—the interactive documentary film. The phenomenon of its aesthetic originality consists in the combination of such oppositions as documentary and virtuality. In this work two key issues for further study for hybrid documentaries are raised: 1) how and by means of what technologies in an interactive documentary a picture of the world is formed in the consciousness of the user; 2) the psychological characteristics arising in a person’s consciousness out of the interaction with documentary virtuality.
The image of the real world, supplemented with the aid of the technologies of “augmented reality,” with the essential elements of computer games—menus, maps of the area, and clue buttons, is able to build connections in the human psyche which link the surrounding reality with the virtual world.
An interactive documentary is not yet identical to virtual reality, but makes use of some of its functional principles, which for some factors (duration of exposure and individual psyche) can form the illusion of a false connection for the user—“control of life on the screen is equivalent to control of real life” gives a person situated on the other side of the screen «a false confidence in the full control over the image.” The main problem associated with virtual documentaries is perceived by us as the immersion of a chronicling document into an environment very close to the environment of a computer game, the study of the document by means of computer game techniques, which could potentially form a habit of treating reality as a game, with its controllability of parameters and its possibility of exit. We will call the IDF space “conditional, or game documentary.” It offers the user “super-abilities” wherein he perceives the physical world on the screen, thereby equating the rules for finding physical reality in the world with the rules of the world of computer games. Creation of numerous virtual worlds, both illusory and documentary, gaining ever greater scale and depth, imitating reality better and better, sooner or later will lead to a situation of equivalence for the person of the real world and the virtual world.
Keywords: interactive documentary, interactive documentary, virtuality, immersiveness, computer game, virtual reality