I love Kotaku for some of it’s more contimplative articles like this one titled, Do Video Games Really Need to Be Immersive. Not only do I like to see the writers’ opinions, but sometimes commenters have valid points as well. Below is a roundup of some of the quotes either from outside sources or from the original writer or commenters. All these really struck a chord with me.

Francois Laramée said,

“All forms of entertainment strive to create suspension of disbelief, a state in which the player’s mind forgets that it is being subjected to entertainment and instead accepts what it perceives as reality.”

Ernest Adams said,

Immersion comes in 3 categories

Tactical immersion:

Tactical immersion is experienced when performing tactile operations that involve skill. Players feel “in the zone” while perfecting actions that result in success.

Strategic immersion:

Strategic immersion is more cerebral, and is associated with mental challenge. Chess players experience strategic immersion when choosing a correct solution among a broad array of possibilities.

Narrative immersion:

Narrative immersion occurs when players become invested in a story, and is similar to what is experienced while reading a book or watching a movie.

Thut said,

For me, immersion comes from the development of a clear dialogue between the player and the game. I believe that non-gamers find this difficult to understand, but it’s a necessary realization for aspiring game designers to make.

In a sense it’s about developing a language that is simple to understand and “works.” Taking this analogy one step further, the goal becomes to get the player “speaking the language” without even realizing they’re doing so. Anything that breaks the rules of the language or draws attention to the fact that the language is being spoken, detracts from the perceived “immersion.”