On Immersion

Immersion, for me, is the number 2 most important thing in a game. Number 1? Fun. But everything contributes to how fun a game is, but for me, the main part is immersion.

Let me make this clear before I start; immersion and realism are two very different things. Realism is accurately modelled bullet physics, proper tides etc. Basically everything Armed Assault boasts about on the back of its box. However, there are certain thing that overlap between realism and immersion; physics, lighting etc. Here’s a flow diagram:




Each flows into the other. Let me go on about immersion, and why I love it so much.

I like to play games for one reason: escapism. I find escapism fun, as it lets me escape the monotony of real day life, and I find that fun. But some games are ruined as they frequently break immersion. How do they do this? No autosave. It means you have to break away from your wonderful fantasy to click buttions, and watch a short loading screen. Another way games break the wonders of immersion (and this being the primary way) is bugs. I paid £35 to be in Cyrodiil, not to be seeing elves walking into walls.

But how do games become immersive, you ask? I personally believe it’s the small touches, like when you look down and see your character’s body (Dark Messiah), when you have to manually unjam your guns (America’s Army), or my favourite, when you have to perform field surgery on yourself (Far Cry 2). Most of my favourite games are the most immersive ones, and by extension, the ones that are the most fun.

People rant and rave about freedom, physics, graphics, story etc. But what it all boils down to is fun. If a game isn’t fun, why should you play it? Games are made for enjoyment, and should be rated as such. It’s this which causes me to not understand grinders, simmers and game addicts, because if it isn’t fun, why play it? 


You can almost smell the fun from here.

You can almost smell the fun from here.


One Response to “On Immersion”

  1. Wellity, wellity, wellity.

    Mr. Joe rants on something.

    Ironic how you ranted on me ranting. PS I can make you a banner if you like.

    PS consider me as a regular looking on everything you post, even though I know you’ll delete all my comments. Even If I was to completely agree with everything you said, and highly complimented your post for opening my eyes and revealing the world to me, on principal would you delete it?

    Also did you watch Paul Merton in India?

    And did you see posters out and about with Rowan Atkinson in “Oliver”?
    Oliver is a classic, but with Rowan Atkinson in it?!?!?!?!?
    The wit would be endless.

    ….And imagine that picture above of far cry 2, if far cry 2 was an rpg.
    “Equipped small knife of nerdington +3”
    “Attempt to dig out bullet. Attempt failed. -2 Kinfetraderyskilltactic.”

    Long post, too bad you can’t do these kind of endless tangents on blogs.

    Also finally, instead of us whining about each others posts, why don’t we advertise each other in various ways, but we can’t bitch at each other for what one of us posts, because we would be on completely separate websites?

    Yes. So to summarise. There is no escape from me. Bookmarked and tagged. Muahaahahahaha…..

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