What Makes a Video Game Immersive?

Have you ever played a video game that you can’t put down? You know, one of those games where you are feeling so immersed in the action, that you know it’s late, but keep playing because “just one more turn?” If you ask 5 different gamers, you’re going to get 6 different answers. The types of games that are considered ‘immersive’ are quite varied. However, there are also a few similar factors among most immersive games. This article takes a look at why these qualities are important and how they can be applied to other genres of games.

The immersive character of games

Video games can seem very immersive due to the fact that they are ‘real’ simulations of our world.

As a child, it didn’t really matter because we were immersed in the story and action of slaying dragons, getting through jungles, conquering kingdoms and saving damsels in distress. Or was it the other way around? But as we grew up and played more complicated games, all the virtual pointers started making sense. And, in some cases (rpgs mainly) games became our teachers. We learned about economics and politics, and even history through playing video games.

The evolution of games

We’ve gone from 8-bit characters and simplistic levels to realistic graphics with convoluted plots. Video games have come a long way since the birth of their popularity. No longer are they just objects of focus for children’s bedrooms; today, video games are something more than that. Originally, Pong was the first game to be released and was sold commercially. The game earned its main income from arcades being located around the country. Today, that same game would barely be considered by a gamer as a viable option to waste time on. It’s not that it isn’t complex—it could be argued that it is far too simple in this day and age.

Some immersive components

The first step to immersing yourself in a game is to use all of your senses. Sounds, visuals, and even smells should all be used in a game to make it feel more real. If a player can hear gunshots and explosions while they’re playing, they’ll feel like they’re really there—even if it’s not actually happening. Another way to make a game feel more immersive is by using characters that are relatable and believable. If you can relate to the character in the game, it will be easier for them to connect with their environment and become immersed in their surroundings. Finally, immersion is created when players have freedom within their environment. If they have choices about how they want to play or interact with other characters, then they’ll feel more connected with their surroundings than if there were only one way for them to do things like move through space or interact with others.

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