Immersion in video games is better described as spatial presence. Spatial presence describes the feeling of being spatially located within a world other than our own.
Player immersion is a very important aspect of video game design as its one of the aspects that keeps the player interested and makes them want to play the game. A game is much more fun when you feel like you are part of the world you are playing in.
This idea of immersion or spatial presence is one of the reasons we lose time when playing games. Players will often be so focused into the world behind the screen that they lose all perception of time until something like a loading screen breaks that immersion and bring them back.
Are video games the most effective medium
There is one particular aspect that video games offer unlike every other medium and that is interactivity. What separates video games is that within video games the player is not only watching the story unfold they are participating in the story and sometimes making decisions that affect the story and change the outcome. When a person is watching or listening to something they are only experiencing it whereas within video games the players get to experience the game and interact with it giving them more of a connection to the media being shown. Because the player is able to have that deeper connection with a game it is believed that video games are the most effective medium
What makes a character players care about
- Character creation
- Time spent with the character
- Character Actions
- Characters ideals
- Connection to you as the player
- They have things in common with you
- They help you
- They sacrifice themselves for you
- They suffer an undeserved misfortune
There are many aspects that go into the making of a character. Above you can see a few that I came up with or researched that I think are very important.
A character is made up of the aspects above although different combinations get different responses from the player. Making a good character isn’t just shoving all of the things together and hoping for the best, the character needs to make sense, be well designed, fit well into the rest of the game and most importantly all of the aspects must flow together.
The character and its backstory are two very large motivators for whether or not the player cares about a character although this can all fall apart depending on the gameplay. If the gameplay doesn’t flow with the character it’s not as effective.
Another aspect that really solidifies the player’s connection to the character is a character creator where the player is able to make whatever character they want to play as, whether that be themselves or someone different
What aspects can move someone within the gameplay
The aspects that can move someone in gameplay include things like the character, NPCs, world setting, hidden mechanics and narrative. Similar to how the character is made up of multiple aspects so is the gameplay and again all of the different things need to work together and be done well to move the player in some way.
How do you move someone through gameplay
To move someone through gameplay all of the aspects need to work in sync and be done well enough that the player cares about what is happening and the characters. Once the player actually cares it’s a small jump to actually moving them with the gameplay.
Madigan, J. (2012). The Psychology of Video Game Immersion. Retrieved November 17th, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/mind-games/201207/the-psychology-video-game-immersion
Murray, H, J. (2011). Are Games A Medium?. Retrieved November 17th, 2018, from https://inventingthemedium.com/2011/10/24/are-games-a-medium/
Loftus, T. (2005). Bringing emotions to video games. Retrieved November 17th, 2018, from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4038606/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/bringing-emotions-video-games/
Meixsell, J. (2012). The dos and don’ts of getting players to care about a game characters. Retrieved November 17th, 2018, from https://venturebeat.com/community/2012/11/19/making-players-care-about-a-character-dos-and-donts/
Wendig, C. (2015). The Secret Behind Making Me Care About Your Characters. Retrieved November 17th, 2018, from http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/06/30/the-secret-behind-making-me-care-about-your-characters/