Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Immersion Break

Immersion is the magic word that game developers love to use. Its the happy bunny rabbit that sits on top of your desk and reminds you why your life doesn't suck. Yet everyone has it, so the point of having it isn't really that unique, its just there for your own devices. Immersion works in relatively the same aspect. Every game developer loves touting the fact that their game has wonderful immersion aspects and how it sucks gamers in. Any experience that breaks it, therefore makes the game terrible and virtually unplayable. The gaming press has an even worse time when it comes to immersion as well. We will dissect a game and complain about how we were taken out of the experience. Thus ultimately destroying our enjoyment of the product as a whole.

However, this isn't anything new. When you go to the movie theatre, there will be people walking in and out of the movie constantly. When you are reading a book, your mother or pet of some kind will bother you, taking you out of the fanciful or philosophical adventure you were enjoying. My point is that Immersion disruption in games is much the same. If a game is good enough in its execution of its story elements, the construction of its game designs, then immersion is a useless factor. Nine times out of ten, the average gamer will not be absorbed in your product. They won't wait on the edge of their seat, hoping for the next power-up mushroom to appear. Chances are that they will come in, play for an hour then go drink a beer and watch TV. Immersion is an important factor in game design, but it should never be the focus. What makes a game great is not drawing people into the world. Sure its a contributing factor, but the vast majority of people don't care. They want a brilliant story, solid game play and an experience that only this medium can provide.

No comments:

Post a Comment