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Immersion

What is Immersion? Ever wonder why you totally love a story, games, TV show or movie, or why you have fond memories of them? Maybe it’s because of immersion. The feeling of “being there” with the protagonists. Feeling with them, thinking with them, living with them, immersed into their world.

Op Ed

Somebody who can’t immerse herself in something won’t be able to appreciate it as much as somebody who does. Take a novel, for example, if you are only reading the words on the pages, without trying to construct the world were the characters leave, you are never going to be able to appreciate what is happening to them, missing on their hardship or story.  This is were the writer’s talent come into play, a good writer can create a compelling and immersive world with simple sentence and carefully chosen words. Usually, backstories and lore help the readers to immerse themselves into the book world and live, like an imaginary fairy, with the characters.

Movies and TV shows, being visual media, don’t require as much work to immerse the viewer.  Although, bad acting, telegraphing the plot and crappy script aren’t helpful. Some people fail at immersing themselves into movies simply because of the genre, though. Mostly men have problems with touchy-feely movies and women aren’t that much into testosterone filled action movies. Personally tastes do have a big impact on how much you can immerse yourself into something. If you have a hard time understanding a psychological thriller you are probably not going to get into it.

In video games, most people see immersion as a simple matter of viewing things in first person. But they couldn’t be further away from the truth. Immersion is like smelling a flower and remembering the flagrance when you walk in a crowded street, walking in the footsteps of somebody who wear a perfume with a similar scent. Taste, hearing, all the senses are used to perfect that imaginary world in our mind, not just what we see. They all interlace together to make a picture perfect world we can feel.

Immersion is such a powerful element in liking something, that it actually makes something average into a beloved memory. As an example, there is one game I love a lot: Deus Ex, released in 2000. By today’s standard it have poor graphics and gameplay. Well, I love that game world so much that I don’t care about those graphics or the gameplay. Just running around in the game is enough for me to forget about those flaws and just enjoy what I’m going, There are a few other games that do this to me and most of them have a few things in common: interesting story, good characters that I will remember for a long time, good sound effects, ambient sounds and music and a well explained lore.

So this is immersion, the art of being into somebody else creation.

2 replies on “Immersion”

Some body who can’t immerse her self in some thing won’t be able to appreciate it as much as some body who does.

I’m not sure I entirely agree with this. It almost implies that there’s one correct way to appreciate books or music or art, unless you mean that enjoyment is immersion, whether you recognize it or not.

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