What if a book could read you?
That’s the premise behind a new literary experience designed to up end the traditional way that we consume printed material. Instead of just reading a story that’s been mass produced for everyone, you would instead get to enjoy a unique tale that changes in conjunction with your emotional state. Think of it like a literal Choose Your Own Adventure. Albeit one without conscious choice.
The concept, known as Neurofiction, is the brain child of science fiction author Hannu Rajaniemi and was recently unveiled at the Edinburgh International Science Festival with a twist on a classic Disney story.
As Wired explains, “Volunteers would don the [EMOTIV] Epoc headset, then read the story of Snow White, and the story would branch and change in different ways, depending on whether the volunteer showed more affinity for ‘life’ or ‘death’ imagery.”
In other words, if you wanted a happy ending that’s exactly what you’d get. This approach to story-telling could be a total game changer for Hollywood. Instead of force feeding everyone cookie cutter stories that have been engineered to appeal to the largest percentage of people, you could instead tailor stories to individual viewers and their individual tastes. No matter how twisted or outside of the norm they may be.
Neurofiction is obviously still in the early stages of development. There is, after all, only prototype so far. But personally, I feel like this could be the start of a new form of entertainment. Truly interactive content that puts you, or at least your subconscious, in the driver’s seat while reading. Who knows, it may even be enough to get people to stop binge watching shows or playing video games, and, you know, actually pick up a book every once in a while.
Is Neurofiction the Greatest Idea Ever?