In a class where the assignment is to play video games, I was very interested to see what my classmates chose to play. And after reading through many of their blogs, a common theme among a lot of games, specifically action games, is that of immersion. And while I have played many games that would … Continue reading “An Analysis of Immersion in Games”
In a class where the assignment is to play video games, I was very interested to see what my classmates chose to play. And after reading through many of their blogs, a common theme among a lot of games, specifically action games, is that of immersion. And while I have played many games that would be considered immersive, I had never thought about why they were considered as such. Miso talks about immersion in his blog post about Thief and how one of the most important attributes of an immersive game is to make sure the game remain in the world of realism, as games played outside of this world tend to break the immersive experience (he uses a magical fireball not melting ice as a great example). Following up on this, Chris references to how some people prefer a first person perspective in Skyrim as it increase immersion. And while Skyrim does not thrive in terms of immersion due to its mythical setting and use of magic, the use of first person still allows for an immersive experience.
Going further, Jean Paul brings up Jamie Madigan and the “completeness of sensory information” and “cognitively demanding environments” act as a measure for immersion games. This thought really resonates with me, as while I play a game, part of the immersion comes from the details found within a game. The completeness of information hits home, as this is the feeling of being in the game world, seeing the game world and processing it as you would real life. Aaron also talks about Fallout 4’s immersive quality, and how the addition of real world connections, such as having a pet dog that you have to take care of, makes the game realistic. He also references Madigan, and her concept of the spatial presence of being inside a game create this immersive experience.
And lastly, as a counter to immersion, Samantha talks about how Britney Spears American Dream the company uses this idea of immersion as a way to promote its casualness. Instead of developing a world that promotes realism, it breaks the fourth wall often, calling upon jokes and ideas in the real world in an effort to keep it casual.
After reading all these posts and playing some of the games, I definitely feel the my understanding of the use of immersion in games is much more complete. Also, I found it especially interesting in reading about how games that aren’t exactly realistic attempt to model immersion. Games such as Skyrim are not realistic; however, they use concepts of immersion to create a better game play experience.
Other than briefly watching friends play Final Fantasy X, this is my first time playing it from the beginning. It was originally released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The game has text and voice to drive the plot forward, which I found exciting at certain times and distracting during other moments. During the first […]
Other than briefly watching friends play Final Fantasy X, this is my first time playing it from the beginning. It was originally released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001. The game has text and voice to drive the plot forward, which I found exciting at certain times and distracting during other moments. During the first 30 minutes of the game, the player is not allowed to skip any film nor save, but at times, is allowed to pause the game while the “background” music continued. In films, the music is always synchronized with on-screen action. But during the cinematic interludes of Final Fantasy X, pausing the game did not pause the music, which not only confused me but gave its game music a fluid identity between the diegetic and nondiegetic world. Another aspect that had a flexible identity was deciding the character’s name; there is a scene in which the character must talk to a group of AI. They ask the character for his name, and a menu pops up to give him a name. The game imitates many features in film, from the camera angles to the montages used for transitions. They were so integrated with one another, that sometimes it was confusing to know when the player should move the character!
The game introduction included more of the player “watching” than “playing.” That difference is the same distinction that exists between engagement and immersion in video games. Immersion (or spatial presence, as it has been termed by Jamie Madigan) needs the player to believe in the world and its context. On the other hand, engagement is similar to the feeling of “flow” (a psychology term for undivided attention and involvement during an activity). While playing Final Fantasy X, the game created a feeling of immersion but I found myself bored – almost frustrated at times – with how unengaging it was. The narrative drove so much of the immersion that I began to feel bored. Frustration built as I yearned for more game play and not so much watching the cinematic storyline. The characters didn’t help, because they drilled in the plot by saying phrases like “listen to my story” and “this is your story, it all begins here.”
The session ended when the game provided me a “Traveller’s Save Sphere,” which stores the character’s HP and MP and allows the player to save game play. The sphere wants to be a diegetic machinic part of the game, although I did not feel so comfortable with the game’s decision to integrate the nondiegetic with the diegetic. I’m excited to continue, although I hope this time, I hope I can expect more “play” time.
Galloway, A. “Gamic Action, Four Moments,” from Gaming, pp. 1-38.
Madigan, J. “The Psychology of Immersion in Video Games” The Psychology of Video Games. Web. 2010.