Touching on the computer?

Playing Toucher by Serge Bourchardon, Kevin Carpentier, and Stephanie Spenle, brought up a point that I hadn’t realized previous to playing it. When reading electronic literature, as opposed to reading physical literature, one part of the experience that is missing is the ability to physically touch what is being read. By playing this game, I was able to experience different sensations of touch. Toucher allowed a work of electronic literature to be multisensory. Previous to playing this game, I had not even noticed that the aspect of touch was missing from accessing works of literature on the computer.

When playing the game, there are six sensations that Toucher allows you to experience; brush, blow, spread, hit, caress and move. The first sensation that I experienced was “Hit”. When discovering this, there is a game that must be played. In this game, there is a fly that flies over a piece of paper, covered in glass. In order to win, you must hit the fly by trying to click it with your mouse. It was very interactive and added a lot to the game because every time I attempted to kill the fly and missed, there would be a loud cracking noise and it would appear that glass was broken at the exact place that I clicked. In my opinion, the most interesting section of Toucher was “caress”. When discovering this sensation, I had to spray paint on a canvas. This canvas would only let me paint in certain areas. As I kept trying to paint, it would eventually fill in the area of the silhouette of a woman. Each time a stroke of painting was done, the woman would make a sexual sound. It was interesting how many different aspects sensation this game was able to bring out.

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