Dan Reynolds and Stella Lourenco | Active Perception in Cinema and Video Games
Media require active perception from their users. Videogames provide perhaps the most obvious example of this; in order to perceive the world of a videogame, a user must play the game, negotiating its spaces and manipulating its objects. While perception of cinema may be less obviously active, it is in fact no less active than is perception of games. At the turn of the Twentieth Century, the emergence of film established new modes of experience for viewers, and perception of films remains a skill that cinema-goers continually develop and refine. Perception of media has often been treated as an exception to the operations of perception in general. Reflecting on the twin examples of the 2011 videogame The Unfinished Swan and the 1900 film How it Feels to be Run Over, I propose that active perception in media use might be seen as exemplary of, rather than exceptional to, the work we do every day in order to perceive the world around us.