Electronic-Mediated Environments LO16444

Bryant, J B (jbryant@cas.org)
Thu, 8 Jan 1998 09:20:59 -0500

Replying to LO16442 --


I just joined the group and didn't see the original post, so I'll react
directly to yours.

You said,

>Ben Compton stated 'The virtual experience, no matter how rewarding, is
>rarely as satisfying as the real thing.' I beg to differ. Twenty years
>ago, I was an enthusiastic chess player. As well as playing 'the real
>thing' at my local chess club, I also played chess by mail. I found the
>'virtual' chess by mail more satisfying - with no distractions, and
>plenty of time to consider the position, I was able to play a higher
>quality game.

You also said,

>Another example is writing. While Dickens may have found it satisfying
>to write his novels in longhand, I find the 'virtual' writing on the
>modern word processor better than 'the real thing'."

I do not think you have accurately assessed the examples you give. When
you play chess by mail, e-mail, Chessmaster(TM), or a Web-based forum, you
are actually playing chess. You are not "virtually" playing it. When you
type words into a word processor to create prose, you are actually
creating prose, not "virtually" creating it.

In both cases, the thing which imparts satisfaction -- a chess game and
creating prose -- are very real. The media used for them differ. I, too,
am an avid chess player (as well as a writer). I have played through all
of these media. In each case, I have either set up a real board in my
home that charts the moves (snail-mail) used a graphic representation of
the board, which is no less real (e-mail, Chessmaster, Web). The game
itself is still very real. [NOTE: If you can play a game of chess without
the use of some type of board, you are a far better man than myself!]

Compare that to taking a Web-based virtual tour of Paris. There is no
comparison. And there is no comparison between the satisfaction derived
from each experience.

J.B. Bryant


"Bryant, J B" <jbryant@cas.org>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>