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Synopsis

Distinguishing between the Internet a communication system and cyberspace an environment for human exchange the author provides a framework for exploring the metaphors and images used in cyberspace to represent and model social reality. He clarifies how these symbolic interactions are linked to the technologies used to create store and transmit them and to their social context. Drawing on examples from digital games web design film and photography the author shows how individual experiences are calibrated by technology and how digital communication contributes to broader processes such as community building and public memory. Downes articulates a nuanced form of media ecology that does not focus on a single cause of change but rather on the relationships between embodied experience communication systems and representations. Interactive Realism establishes a new method for understanding the importance of digital media to the construction of social reality.

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