Karin Wenz, Assistant Professor of English, University of Kassel

The 'real' ceases to exist. A shift from 'reality' to simulation is setup within the history of technology. The so called 'reality' is the result of constructive processes. An immediate access to an objective reality is not possible, so that the suspension of reality in our culture of simulation does not mean that we now live in unreal worlds. As Benjamin's analysis of the new reproduction technologies shows: technology does not distort the immediate or natural character of imagination, because imagination itself has to be interpreted as postponement as Kant and Peirce (and lateron Lacan) have demonstrated. Imagination as mediation is not replaced by the development of digital media, but remains the basis of our approach to them.

Comparable to literature, virtual worlds have to develop new entrances. The interface is a new architectural entrance which allows us to overstep a borderline. The result is distance by a simultaneous artificial bridging of this distance.Bolz (1990: 115) describes it as "your inside is out": The inside becomes a new outside. But the former outside can only be experienced as perception through our senses. By this process of perception it is transformed into a new inside: "your outside is in": It is the bridging of two worlds.

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