Irish filmmaker Eoghan Kidney is putting together a virtual reality version of Ulysses, the controversial 1918 James Joyce novel best known for deeply traumatising first year literature students everywhere.
Called In Ulysses: Proteus, the project puts players in the role of Stephen Dedalus, wandering Dublin of June 6, 1904.
As players walk along Sandymount Strand, the book will be read to them – and Deadalus’s thoughts will be visualised “in real-time using textual annotations, images and links”. When the player stops walking, they can explore these additions at their leisure.
The aim of the project is to provide an alternate way to experience Ulysses’s difficult opening chapter, Proteus, where a detailed stream of consciousness often puts off readers tackling the 265,000 word epic.
Kidney asked for and received €4000 on FundIt to complete the Unreal Engine 3-powered project, which will release for Android, iOS, Mac and PC in addition to Oculus Rift, in 2015. If successful, future chapters will dive into Leopold Bloom’s world.