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Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion

Pages 306-312 explain how games are a form of addiction for players. During immersion a player is subconsciously submerged within a game while they are conscious. They are compelled to feel the need to find out more about the game world, how the narrative plays out as the player excels from one stage to another and the desire to complete the game. The player treats the character/avatar as an extension of themselves as it describes and this is what drives the player to excel in the game in order to win. This extension gives the user a chance to be someone they choose to be rather than someone they have to be, allowing them to do the things that are not possible for them in real life.

I have found myself immersed a great amount in a game like Last Chaos where I wanted to carry on defeating creatures one after the other to level my avatar, who is a Healer. I found myself immersed at the highest degree that I spent months concentrating on levelling my avatar, until I found an anomaly in the game that prevented me from proceeding any further and this broke my immersion. It is clear that a flaw in the games design can easily snap a person out of immersion no matter how greatly immersed they are. The article depicts how effective MOOs are more than MUDs; MUDs are structured games where users battle each other, whereas MOOs without a structure allowing the users to interact with each other freely. MOOs allow the users different experience each time making it far more immersive than structured games, which apply the same experience every time.

I feel as though the games are now more immersive than they used to be but not a great deal more; they have definitely increased greatly on graphics that provides enhanced visual pleasure but immersion is now experienced almost the same amount as it used to be. Motion control consoles such as the Wii or Kinect are a step towards a much more effective immersion but I think that future technology will have enhanced visually and in the amount of physical involvement required to play a game.


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