by Justin Marquis
"The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Keith Oatley, an emeritus professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, has proposed that reading produces a vivid simulation of reality, one that "runs on minds of readers just as computer simulations run on computers." Fiction — with its redolent details, imaginative metaphors and attentive descriptions of people and their actions — offers an especially rich replica. Indeed, in one respect novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings."
(Your Brain on Fiction, 17 March, 2012)
"The immediate thought prompted by this talk of "vivid simulation of reality," and being able to "give readers an experience unavailable off the page," was that video games do this too. In fact, they could provide a more richly interactive experience than reading because they have the capability to adapt for individual users and to provide branching scenarios based on different inputs. So the question is, can video games accomplish the same objectives that the authors are attributing to reading fiction?"
Via JackieGerstein Ed.D., Bonnie Bracey Sutton