October 1996

Root Page of Article: Coming Out of the Closedt World, by John Horberg

Las Vegas Vacationers

Edwards' description of closed worlds really brings home the connection with Las Vegas. Could it just be chance that I read most of the book while I was there, or does this sound a heck of a lot like the interior of a casino?
The closed world is generally represented in fiction by enclosed artificial environments such as buildings, cities, underground rooms, or space stations... As the name implies, closed-world dramatic spaces often produce an intense sensation of confinement. Dark interiors or nighttime urban settings may amplify these qualities... Artificiality is also a crucial feature of the closed world. It is signaled by the built environment, by displays of technology, particularly military and other high technology, and by the general absence and irrelevance of plants and animals... Though often darkened, they are rarely still. Technological artifacts within the space assist in projecting an underlying electric tension: the flickering fluorescent light, the ringing telephone, the active computer screen, the flashing indicators on a CPU. ^Sleep is fretful and frequently disturbed.

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