Virtual Reality as Immersive Enclosure, with Paul Roquet (EF, JP)


Paul Roquet is an MIT associate professor in media studies and Japan studies; his earlier work includes Ambient Media. It was his recent mind-bending The Immersive Enclosure that prompted John and Elizabeth to invite him to discuss the history of "head-mounted media" and the perceptual implications of virtual reality.

Paul Elizabeth and John discuss the appeal of leaving actuality aside and how the desire to shut off immediate surroundings shapes VR's rollout in Japan. The discussion covers perceptual scale-change as part of VR's appeal--is that true of earlier artwork as well? They explore moral panic in Japan and America, recap the history of early VR headset adapters on trains and compare various Japanese words for "virtual" and their antonyms. Paul wonders if the ephemerality of the views glimpsed in a rock garden served as guiding paradigm for how VR is experienced.

Mentioned in the episode

Recallable Books

Read the transcript here.

Your Host

Elizabeth Ferry and John Plotz

Free-ranging discussion of books from the past that cast a sideways light on today's world. Recall This Book is hosted by Elizabeth Ferry, Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University and John Plotz, Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and co-founder of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative.

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