[img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/turtle.gif]]\n\n'Once,' said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, 'I was a //real// Turtle.'\n\nA crisis of realism is an odd thing coming from a creature of [[Wonderland]].
Marshall McLuhan saw the electronic as generative, and inherently not containable:\n\n“There is no longer any tendency to speak of electricity as ‘contained’ in anything. Painters have long known that objects are not contained in space, but that they generate their own spaces. It was the dawning awareness of this in the mathematical world a century ago that enabled Lewis Carroll , the Oxford mathematician, to contrive Alice in Wonderland, in which times and spaces are neither uniform nor continuous, as they had seemed to be since the arrival of Renaissance perspective” (348).\n\nAlthough [[physically constrained|Laptop]], the digital Wonderland breaks boundaries--''"neither uniform nor continuous."'' Perhaps most importantly, such journeys (to Wonderland and beyond) remind us that [[some of the boundaries never existed.|Immersion]]
The Duchess continually tries to impose meaning on even the most [[disorderly of constructions|Birds]] in language and story:\n\n''"Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it."''\n\nIn that sense, she is as relentless as computation, taking inputs and forcing them into seemingly logical patterns. The Duchess is perhaps the most appallingly grown-up counterpart to Alice's approach to the nonsense of Wonderland. This can also be taken as a metatextual warning to anyone who approaches Alice's journey seeking a moral take-away. Unlike most children's literature that predated Carroll's work, there is no tidy moral. There is, however, a [[powerful metaphor|Electric]].
[img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/shaker.gif]]\n\n'Thinking again?' the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.\n\n'I've a [[right to think|App]],' said [[Alice|Inanimate]] sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried.\n\n'Just about as much right,' said the Duchess, 'as [[pigs have to fly|Immersion]]; and the m—'\n\n\n
The ordering of Alice as [[out-of-time|Electric]] made it well-suited for adaptation to convergent platforms, including the touch-based realm of the iPad. [[Chris Stevens, co-founder of Atomic Antelope, explains the process|http://www.theliteraryplatform.com/2010/04/making-alice-for-the-ipad/]] behind their conversion of Alice to an app:\n\n"To make [[Alice for the iPad|https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alice-for-the-ipad/id354537426?mt=8]], we found an incredibly old copy of Alice in Wonderland and scanned the illustrations. We took these illustrations into Photoshop and cleaned them up extensively, bringing out the colour and detail of Tenniel's original work for Lewis Carroll. We then painstakingly redrew scenes and characters, and added new illustrated objects that can move around the screen. The resulting layered Photoshop graphics were then imported into Apple's Xcode software, where we added virtual gravity and physics to the characters and objects."\n\nTenniel's graphics, with their comics-inspired framework, were already well-suited to motion. And likewise, the denizens of Wonderland are always in motion, passing through space and time with little regard to [[constraints|Orders]].
The [[Duchess counsels Alice|Morals]]:\n\n"Be what you would seem to be"—\nor if you'd like it put more simply—\n"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."'\n\n(Alice notes that she might understand this better if it was written down than said--literal rather than oral--but it works even better in [[digital|Electric]]. The saying "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog" might be particularly valued by a girl who was once mistaken for a snake.")
Alice's journey as metaphor has also entered into convergent, "alternate reality"-esque space with [[Inanimate Alice|http://www.inanimatealice.com/]]. This Alice's multimedia adventures are taking her to a future as a game designer in a tech-savvy world. She is constantly journeying, but distant from others. \n\nThe [[project's description|http://www.inanimatealice.com/about.html]] centers on the activeness of the user in becoming or "driving" Alice: Inanimate Alice "requires the reader to drive the action forward at their own pace and encourages readers to co-create their own versions of the story, either [[filling in the gaps|Thinking]] or developing new strands."\n\nHere, Alice is [[avatar|Self]], and herself digitally and globally literate: she will eventually build Wonderlands, but in the meantime she is an enticement to others. The project has spawned many [[reader-generated episodes, often built as part of classes.|http://www.katepullinger.com/blog/category/inanimate-alice/]]\n\n\n
[>img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/alicecomputer.gif]]\n\nThe use of //Alice's Adventures in Wonderland// as a central metaphor for understanding the construction of a virtual reality is not coincidental: the computer is a rabbit hole, offering an entryway into spaces where the rules--or code--underlying [[self|Self]] can continually be re-written.\n\nThe progression of Alice's adventures is already digital, or as [[Marshall McLuhan comments|http://t-bag.org/KTour/mapping.htm]]:\n\n"Lewis Carroll greeted the '[[electronic|Electric]] age of space-time' with a cheer."\n\n[The electronic age of space-time? Or the electronic [[age of nonsense?|Morals]]]
[>img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/laptop.gif][Thinking]]
[>img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/gryphon.gif]]\n'What fun!' said the Gryphon, half to itself, half to Alice.\n'What IS the fun?' said Alice.\n'Why, SHE,' said the Gryphon. 'It's all her fancy, that: they never executes nobody, you know. Come on!'\n'Everybody says "come on!" here,' thought Alice, as she went slowly after it: '//I never was so ordered about//' in all my life, never!'\n\nAlice is unaccustomed to being ordered--not surprising for the protagonist-dreamer of a nonsense world, in which the laws of space and time are the first things to go.\n\nHowever, she is constantly being ordered and re-ordered. Right now, she's an idea being reconstructed through nodes. You can read the nodes in (almost) any order, but you are likewise constrained.\n\nAs Alice is constrained by manners to accompany the Gryphon to hear the tale of the [[Mock Turtle|Real]], she steps into another node, temporarily losing the threads of both Duchess and Queen.
[>img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/rabbit.gif][Rabbit Hole]]\n\n
''"Follow the White Rabbit"''\n\nThis message [[appears on a computer screen|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smwrw4sNCxE]] addressed to Neo at the opening of //The Matrix//. It appears on the shoulder of a woman who leads him to [[Trinity|http://matrix.wikia.com/wiki/Trinity]], a woman whose own extensive knowledge of computers and their workings gives her the insight to glimpse the constructed nature of the very reality surrounding them.\n\nThe metaphor continues as Neo encounters Morpheus:\n\n"I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the [[rabbit hole|Alice]]?"\n.\n.\n.\n"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the [[truth|Reality]] - nothing more."
Anastasia Salter
[<img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/whiterabbit.gif]]\n\nAlice and her Wonderland are inherently non-linear: though they are both constantly in flux, the order of experience from moment to moment has no major impact on our understanding of her adventures. The White Rabbit is our tour-guide to digital space, fretting over time even as it passes by him, loops around, and begins again without warning.\n\nWe, like Neo and Alice, follow the White Rabbit into the constructed realms of the virtual (the "[[desert of the real?|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgBViHeiSKM]]" or the Wonderland of the surreal?
IX. The Mock Turtle's Story
The "[[rabbit hole|Rabbit Hole]]" is a common metaphor for any portal that brings us into an altered reality--it is the same term used for the opening of alternate reality games, where players are asked to embrace the rules of the "new" world enough to unravel its mysteries. \n\nThe [[XCOM ARG|http://mashable.com/2013/05/31/xcom-the-bureau-arg/]] (started in May 2013 as part of the marketing campaign for //The Bureau: XCOM Declassified//) takes the parallels a step further, beginning with a woman named [[Alice]] going through the belongings of her dead grandmother. Alice has long blonde hair and wears a blue vest over a white collared shirt in the opening video, not unlike a "[[Disneybound|http://disneybound.tumblr.com/post/7358793471]]" of Alice's most commonly associated colors.\n\nThere's a certain emergence to the ARG: [[according to community manager Kate Distler|http://mashable.com/2013/05/31/xcom-the-bureau-arg/]], "Even though Alice is an actress, she's going to act and react in real time. Part of the fun is being immersed in the narrative, but it's definitely not an on-rails experience." [[Alice's blog|http://whathappenedin62.com/]] acknowledges that everything "seems to be linked to a video game," but the tension of reality and story is preserved.\n\nOther examples of [[Alice (and yet not Alice) as avatar abound|Inanimate]].
[<img[http://aliceindataland.net/nine/flamingo2.gif]]\n\n"Birds of a feather flock together."\n\n(But when one of the birds is mustard, that doesn't [[make any sense|Thinking]].)
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Christopher Horrocks ties the uncertain real-virtual experience of Alice's trip [[through the rabbit hole|Laptop]] to the movement we all take when experiencing media:\n\n"...the notion of 'immersion' applies in general form to McLuhan's observation that 'Electric media transport us instantly wherever we choose. When we are on the phone we don't just disappear doesn a hole, Alice in Wonderland style - we are there and they are here.' When we are on the phone, on the air or presumably online, we are in a sense absent from ourselves and with the other" (69).\n\nThat phrase, ''"[[absent from ourselves|Self]]"'', could rightly be spoken by Alice--even as she is in her own body, she commonly refers to it as not herself. Alice's journey in Wonderland could be said to have all the physicality of the avatar in a virtual space. She interacts, she experiences, but she is not physically at risk. She is simultaneously there and not there, existing between and [[rejecting the false binary|Orders]] of real and imagines, of real and virtual.\n