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Jill Walker Rettberg
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As Much As You Love Me is an interactive poetry project that consists of a force feedback mouse and an interactive poem.The project deals with guilt and tries to convey its message using the special proper ties of the physical and graphic interface. The text of As Much As You Love Me is a series of non-apologies, which all start with the words "don't for give me" (e.g."Don't forgive me for the things I've said"; "don't forgive me for the mistakes I've made"). In order to hear the text the user must collect objects on the screen. Each object collected will sound a non apology and increase the physical difficulty of mov ing the mouse.The collected objects cling to the cursor and appear to be tied to the edges of the screen. The combination of the graphic representation and the actual physical effort required to move the mouse as more objects are collected reinforces the attempt of the speaker in the poem to relieve herself from guilt.

As moving becomes harder and the bur den of guilt heavier, the non-apologies become harsher and almost accusing as the speaker demands "don't forgive me for my father's lies" and "don't forgive me for saving myself." But facing the guilt and carrying the burden can be avoided: on the main screen of As Much As You Love Me, which is gray, there is a white circle. If the user enters this area the force feedback will turn off and movement will become easy again.The user may move within the circle with complete freedom, but the guilt-objects collected will be waiting outside. So eventually, the user must leave the circle (which I call denial),face the guilt and keep collecting it, until with the last piece of guilt comes the final release, and final rejection. The last piece of guilt will sound the phrase "forgive me this: I can't remember loving you", the force feedback will shut off, and all the pieces collected will retreat, returning the user to the opening screen of the piece. The force feedback is achieved by two electromag nets attached to the bottom of the mouse. The elec tromagnets are controlled by a Pic chip microcon troller that is connected serially to the computer. Every object collected on screen will send a com mand to the microcontroller to increase the power of the magnets.The force feedback mouse sits on a large metal plate, so the user will never have to lift the mouse and break the force feedback.

(Source: Ars Electronica)