Digital Review

Beyond the Wall

Beyond the Wall, a sensitively produced disc about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, occasionally brought tears to my eyes. Even people who never served in the Vietnam War, or never knew anyone who did, are often moved by the sight of the monument in Washington, D.C. Those with a direct personal interest in the wall — the 494-foot-long span of black granite etched with the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who perished as a result of the conflict — describe their time there as simultaneously wrenching and healing. This cohesive, comprehensive CD-ROM features a history of the wall, a complete listing of the names inscribed on it, a thumbnail sketch of the war itself, an affecting survey of items placed at the wall by grieving friends and relatives, and more. With its subtle, quiet graphics and creative use of audio, Beyond the Wall deploys the standard point-and-click interface in a way that encourages contemplation and reflection rather than busy screen hopping. In so doing, it comes very close to a live experience, something I never expected a CD-ROM to be capable of. A+

Originally posted Nov 10, 1995 Published in issue #300 Nov 10, 1995 Order article reprints
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