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Gameplay Part 2: Immersion

July 10, 2011

This time im gonna talk about an all important part of gaming. The ever neglected Immersion factor. Immersion is when your playing a horror game and your friend surprises you and you piss yourself in fear.

In my opinion immersion can either make or break a game. A large amount of immersion, which is present in games like Oblivion (to a degree) and such can help you ignore graphical flaws but it also brings things like an AI getting stuck on a door or something to the fore. Such glitches can destroy immersion.

Sometimes with games like Saints Row and GTA immersion isnt a good thing because it means that youd constantly be dragged out of  your immersed state whenever you died. It would have to be that way or the game would have to implement a no second chance system which would force a restart.

Immersion can come in multiple flavors. The most common flavor is when you stop playing a game and go about life you try to use simple mechanics from the game in life. A good example is the time control abilities from Prince of Persia. If you just finished a massive play through of the game and made toast which fell butter side down your probably gonna find your finger twitching in the way that it would to activate the time reverse mechanic.

Immersion can also come in one of the primary reasons i avoid major time sink games and thats when you start playing and after a while look at the clock only to realize youd been playing for 12 hours and should have eaten not long after you started. Odds are youll ignore your baser instincts and just go on playing.

The best example for the time sink immersion is the latest smack addiction Minecraft. I know iv been playing it and thought “ill just finish up this layer” and before i know it its been 4 hours since i had that last thought.

Games like Soul Calibur and such are also immersive but they have yet another flavor of immersion. The immersion in fighting games is one that keeps you playing no matter how mad it makes you. I know iv gone back to Soul Calibur IV many times even though i hate it.

Theres gonna be more on gameplay mechanics later so keep your eyes open for it.

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