Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Does Immersion Really Exist?

I'll get everything started by positing this theory: immersion does not really exist in video games. Or at least, it doesn't as defined by Janet Murray. The idea of getting lost in something to the point that you feel totally in the game, fully empathizing with the characaters and instinctively reacting as if you were in the game's world is non-sense. What people seem to really mean by immersion is "total focus." All the brain's functions are pointed towards the game. The player is in the zone. The problem: that isn't really immersion. It may seem like it, and it may feel like it. But its not possible to break the fourth wall. At least not while the hardware is in your living room, on your tv, playing while you sit on your couch.


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