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Immersion & Associated Concepts in Video Games

A mind-map of the terms and concepts related to immersion in video games
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Nyssa Harkness

on 26 August 2015

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Transcript of Immersion & Associated Concepts in Video Games

Immersion
& associated concepts in video games
Immersion
Janet Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck
The sensation of being surrounded by a completely other reality that takes over all of our attention (98,99)
Sensory
Hypermediacy
Identification
Imaginative
Genre: Social/Cybertext
A mind-map of terms, phrases and definitions extending from the wider concept of immersion for video games.
Challenge
Cybertexts
Identification Immersion
Imaginative
Immersion

Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Intensive state where one is fully absorbed in activity, losing all sense of time, being focused, not self-conscious
Kevin Williams, The effects of dissociation, game controllers, and 3D versus 2D on presence and enjoyment
A sense of detachment and unreality toward oneself or the external world (143)
Dissociation
Immediacy
Bolter and Grusin, Remediation
Makes the viewer forget the medium and believe presence of objects of representation (272-3)
Bolter and Grusin, Remediation
Reminds user of the medium; calls attention to its own status and process as a mediated interface (272)
Mayra and Emri Fundamental Components
of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion

Characters, worlds,
storylines
Audio-visual components
Mayra and Emri Fundamental Components
of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion

Sensory
Immersion

Sensomotor (speed reactions) and cognitive (puzzles)
Mayra and Emri Fundamental Components
of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion

Challenge
Immersion

Corporeal Digitality
Rikke Toft Nørgård The corporeal-locomotive craftsman: Gaming in World of Warcraft
The off-screen gaming body - usually studied only for gross motor games (202;208)
Digital Corporeality
Rikke Toft Nørgård The corporeal-locomotive craftsman: Gaming in World of Warcraft
The on-screen gaming body - usually studied only for fine motor games (202, 208)
Natural Mapping Controllers
Kevin Williams The effects of dissociation, game controllers, and 3D versus 2D on presence and enjoyment
Incoporates natural and predictable actions into the game control schema:
Directional (joystick)
Kinetic (body)
Realistic/tangible (steering) (144)
Traditional Controllers
Traditional, fine-motor input such as keyboard, mouse, default console controllers.
QuickTime Events (QTE)
Heads Up Display (HUD)
Graphical User Interface
Mechanics
Aesthetics
Story
Requires non-trivial effort to traverse the text. The reader is not safe, but at risk of rejection.
Agency
Avatars
Non-Player Characters
Avatar

Zach Waggoner, My Avatar, My Self
A virtual creation that represents the user; user has choice in representation
Agent

Zach Waggoner My Avatar, My Self
A character controlled by the user, but unable to be altered
NPC (non player character)
NPA (non player Agent)
Justin Parsler The non-player agent in computer role-playing games
A character not under direct control of a player
Justin Parsler The non-player agent in computer role-playing games
Perceived or attributed agency to an NPC; behaviour influenced by designer and player
First Person point of view
Third person point of view
Zach Waggoner My Avatar, My Self
Zach Waggoner My Avatar, My Self
User is placed inside the body of an avatar or agent. Typically the only part of the virtual character that can be seen in this view are hands extended from an invisible body.
Allows user to see their avatar or agent's 'whole' body, usually from a camera angle behind and above.
Aarseth, Espen. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. 1997
Full References
Murray, Janet, H. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1997: Print.
Csikszentmihlyi, Mikaly. Flow. New York: Harper Perennial. 1991.
Williams, Kevin D. “The Effects of Dissociation, Game Controllers, and 3D versus 2D on Presence and Enjoyment.” Computers in Human Behavior 38 (2014): 142–150.
Ermi, Laura, and Frans Mäyrä. “Fundamental Components of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion.” Changing Views: Worlds in Play (2005): 15–27.
Grinberg, Austin M. et al. “Social Engagement and User Immersion in a Socially Based Virtual World.” Computers in Human Behavior 36 (2014): 479–486.
Weibel, David et al. “Playing Online Games against Computer- vs. Human-Controlled Opponents: Effects on Presence, Flow, and Enjoyment.” Computers in Human Behavior 24.5 (2008): 2274–2291.
Immersion
Waern, Annika. “‘ I’m in Love with Someone That Doesn’t Exist !’ Bleed in the Context of a Computer Game.” Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds 3.3 (2011): 239–257.
Van Looy, Jan et al. “Player Identification in Online Games: Validation of a Scale for Measuring Identification in MMOGs.” Media Psychology 15.2 (2012): 197–221.
McMahan, Alison. “Immersion, Engagement, and Presence: A Method for Analyzing 3-D Video Games.” The Video Game Theory Reader. Ed. Mark Wolf and Bernard Perron. New York: Routledge, 2003. 67–86. Print.
Owen, David. “Cyber Narrative and the Gaming Cyborg.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 6.3 (2014): 205–213.
Gee, James Paul. What Video Games have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
Hou, Jinghui et al. “Effects of Screen Size, Viewing Angle, and Players’ Immersion Tendencies on Game Experience.” Computers in Human Behavior 28.2 (2012): 617–623.

Sound
Bolter, Jay David and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000
Murphy, Sheila C. “‘Live in Your World, Play in Ours’: The Spaces of Video Game Identity.” Journal of Visual Culture 3.2 (2004): 223–238.
Nørgård, Rikke Toft. “The Corporeal-Locomotive Craftsman: Gaming in World of Warcraft.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 3.3 (2011): 201–218.
Hou, Jinghui et al. “Effects of Screen Size, Viewing Angle, and Players’ Immersion Tendencies on Game Experience.” Computers in Human Behavior 28.2 (2012): 617–623.
Jorgensen, Kristine. Time for a new terminology? Diegetic and Non-Diegetic Sounds in Computer Games Revisited. Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction: Concepts and Developments. Ed. Mark Grimshaw. New York: Information Science Reference. 2011.
Frasca, Gonzalo. “Simulation versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology.” Video/Game/Theory. Ed. Mark J P Wolf and Bernard Perron. Routledge, 2003. Print.
Arjoranta, Jonne. “Meaning Effects in Video Games : Focalization , Granularity and Mode of Narration in Games Meaning Effects in Video Games Focalization , Granularity and Mode of Narration in Games.” N. p., 2013. Print.
Grimshaw, Mark, Siu-lan Tan, and Scott D Lipscombc. “Playing with Sound: The Role of Music and Sound Effects in Gaming.” Psychology of Music in Multimedia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 289–315. Print.
Avatars are chosen, and contribute to immersion, in numerous ways...
The story behind a race, class, or singular character - particularly one the player can create or choose
Facial features, body, clothing, voice, movement styles
Racial attributes or resistances, or class abilities and playstyle
Social
Social games allow for more influence by friends than others, people may choose avatars based on what their friends choose
Transportation
Presence
Alison McMahan Immersion, Engagement, and Presence: A Method for Analyzing 3-D Video Games
Weibel, Wissmath, Habegger, Steiner, Groner, Playing online games against computer- vs. human-controlled opponents: Effects on presence, flow, and enjoyment
Three types:
"You are there" - user transported to another place (aka presence)
"It is here" - place and objects transported to user (aka telepresence)
Teleportation - in-game portals and teleportation (77)
A sense of belief that one has left the real world and is now 'present' in the virtual environment. A sense of 'being there' inside the game world. (2276)
Proprioception
Social Presence
David Owen Cyber Narrative and the Gaming Cyborg
A player experiencing an expanded sense of self in the virtual space (207)
Telepresence
Lee H-G, Chung, Lee W.-H. Presence in virtual golf simulators: The effects of presence on perceived enjoyment, perceived value, and behavioral intention
A media user's psychological state as the user existing physically within the mediated environment (932)
Weibel, Wissmath, Habegger, Steiner, Groner, Playing online games against computer- vs. human-controlled opponents: Effects on presence, flow, and enjoyment
The illusion of being present together with a mediated person. (2276)
Spatial
Presence
Weibel, Wissmath, Habegger, Steiner, Groner, Playing online games against computer- vs. human-controlled opponents: Effects on presence, flow, and enjoyment
The illusion of being present in a mediated space. (2276).
Co-Presence
Weibel, Wissmath, Habegger, Steiner, Groner, Playing online games against computer- vs. human-controlled opponents: Effects on presence, flow, and enjoyment
The combination of both spatial presence/telepresence and social presence; being both in a mediated space with a mediated person. (2276)
Slide creation and unattributed definitions by Nyssa Harkness, PhD Candidate Macquarie University
Social
Immersion
Gaming Immersion Models
Ermi, Laura, and Frans Mäyrä. “Fundamental Components of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion.” Changing Views: Worlds in Play (2005): 15–27.
Fizek, Sonia. “Pivoting the Player : A Framework for Player Character Research in Offline Computer Role-Playing Games.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 6.3 (2014): 215–234.
Caroux, Loïc et al. “Player–video Game Interaction: A Systematic Review of Current Concepts.” Computers in Human Behavior 48 (2015): 366–381.
Embodiment
Bleed
Real Identity
Projected Identity
Virtual Identity
Annika Waern ‘ I’m in love with someone that doesn’t exist !’ Bleed in the context of a computer game
Experienced by a player when her/his thoughts and feelings are influenced by the character, or vice versa (241)
Users experience the virtual environment through the body container. (204)
Van Looy, Courtois, De Vocht, De Marez Player Identification in Online Games: Validation of a Scale for Measuring Identification in MMOGs
James Gee What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy
James Gee What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy
James Gee What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy
Both real and virtual identity; real identity projecting values and designs on virtual identity and virtual identity as a project in the making (55)
A non-virtual person playing a computer game. Made up of many types of identities - groups, political, age, etc (55)
One's identity as a virtual character in a virtual world (54)
Mechanics, Rules
aesthetics, design
Force Feedback
Sheila Murphy 'Live in Your World, Play in Ours': The Spaces of Video Game Identity
Devices/Controllers that work to make gamers feel the repercussions of their actions and inactions in game through shaking, vibration and jolting (230)
Grinberg, Careaga, Mehl, O'Connor Social engagement and user immersion in a socially based virtual world
Interaction with other player characters, rather than computer-controlled characters (480)
This includes LAN (local area network) to connect computers, or playing MMOG (massive multiplayer online games).
(Weibel et al 2275)
Genre
Single player or MMOG
Diegetic Environment
Nyssa Harkness, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia
Media Form
Difficulty
representation and Interactivity
The world is dynamically altered by player participation.(128). There are formulas and rules for structuring participation. (127)
Authorship often misattributed - the interactor is not the author; instead, this is agency.(153)
Janet Murray Hamlet on the Holodeck
Ergodic Literature
Espen Aarseth Cybertext
Waggoner, Z. My Avatar, My Self: Identity in Video Role-Playing Games. Jefferson, McFarland, 2009. Book.
Parsler, Justin. “The Non-Player Agent in Computer Role-Playing Games.” Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 2.2 (2010): 135–143.

Lee, H.-G., S. Chung, and W.-H. Lee. “Presence in Virtual Golf Simulators: The Effects of Presence on Perceived Enjoyment, Perceived Value, and Behavioral Intention.” New Media and Society 15.6 (2013): 930–946.
Grinberg, Austin M. et al. “Social Engagement and User Immersion in a Socially Based Virtual World.” Computers in Human Behavior 36 (2014): 479–486.
Weibel, David et al. “Playing Online Games against Computer- vs. Human-Controlled Opponents: Effects on Presence, Flow, and Enjoyment.” Computers in Human Behavior 24.5 (2008): 2274–2291.
Cairns, Paul et al. “Who but Not Where: The Effect of Social Play on Immersion in Digital Games.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 71.11 (2013): 1069–1077.

Hou, Jinghui et al. Effects of Screen Size, Viewing Angle, and Players’ Immersion Tendencies on Game Experience.
Games
Alley Cat, IBM, 1984
Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware, 2009
Dragon Age 2, Bioware, 2011
King's Quest V, Sierra, 1990
Wii Fit for Wii U, Nintendo, 2013
Diablo 3, Blizzard, 2012
The Wolf Among Us, Telltale Games, 2013
Need4Speed: Rivals, Ghost Games/Criterion Games, 2013
Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock/Valve, 2008
Mount and Blade, TaleWorlds/Paradox, 2008
The Sims 4, EA, 2014
World of Warcraft, Blizzard, 2004
Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet, 2012
Selfies
Social Cues
Some research indicates that people are more likely to create avatars that look like themselves, or how they would ideally like to look
Building on Goffman's theories of how individuals use appearance and behaviour to shape others' impressions, there is also some research on how people create their identities to fit into particular social groups.
Martey, Rosa Mikeal, and Mia Consalvo. “Performing the Looking-Glass Self: Avatar Appearance and Group Identity in Second Life.” Popular Communication 9.3 (2011): 165–180.
Van Looy, Jan et al. “Player Identification in Online Games: Validation of a Scale for Measuring Identification in MMOGs.” Media Psychology 15.2 (2012): 197–221.
Lim, Soyhe & Byron Reeves. "Being in the Game: Effects of Avatar Choice and Point of View on Psychophysiological Repsonses During Play". Media Psychology. 2009: 348-370. PDF.
Examples are deliberately narrow by only including games with a main avatar or agent. As such, simulations or strategy type games where you exist as a 'hand of god' are excluded.
Fraser, James, Michael Katchabaw, and Robert E. Mercer. “An Experimental Approach to Identifying Prominent Factors in Video Game Difficulty.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8253 LNCS.4 (2013): 270–283.
Weibel, David et al. “Playing Online Games against Computer- vs. Human-Controlled Opponents: Effects on Presence, Flow, and Enjoyment.” Computers in Human Behavior 24.5 (2008): 2274–2291.
Grinberg, Austin M. et al. “Social Engagement and User Immersion in a Socially Based Virtual World.” Computers in Human Behavior 36 (2014): 479–486.
Cairns, Paul et al. “Who but Not Where: The Effect of Social Play on Immersion in Digital Games.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 71.11 (2013): 1069–1077.
Multi-Player Game
Challenges
There are objectives in some games which require coordinated group action, such as group quests, instances, dungeons and raids. (172)
Silva, Leiser, and Elham Mousavidin. “Strategic Thinking in Virtual Worlds: Studying World of Warcraft.” Computers in Human Behavior 46 (2015): 168–180.
PvP Game
challenges
Multi-player games also often have a player versus player aspect. While DayZ's difficulty encourages collaboration (66), it also allows for players to play immorally - murdering other players for survival, or even kidnapping and torturing them. (68)
Carter, Marcus. “The First Week of the Zombie Apocalypse : The Influences of Game Temporality.” 7.1 (2015): 59–75.
Self-Presence
Hou, Nam, Peng, Lee Effects of screen size, viewing angle, and players' immersion tendencies on game experience
A psychological state in which the players feel that avatars and the role they play in the game are actually themselves (618)
This includes hardware and software that affects the look of the game such as:
Display screen size
Viewing angle
Fidelity
Resolution
Cut
Synchrony
Movement (617)
Sound in games is different than that of films. Films use diegetic (part of depicted world e.g. speech) and non-diegetic (not part of depicted world e.g. background score) (78). Game sound is more complicated in that it has a double status in providing usable information to the player and is stylised to fit the depicted universe (81).
Game sound and world integration:
Metaphorical interface - not naturally produced by game universe, even though have metaphorical similarity to atmosphere and events (e.g. enemy approaching music)
Overlay interface - connected to menus, maps and action bars (e.g. clicking button)
Integrated interface - a notifier for user interface elements place into game world (e.g. drinking potion)
Emphasised interface - generated by NPCs (e.g. system generated greeting)
Iconic interface - completely integrated into game world (e.g. moan of injured person) (92-3)
Jorgensen, Kristine. Time for a new terminology? Diegetic and Non-Diegetic Sounds in Computer Games Revisited.
Player Interaction
System Design
Flashing icons that indicate action for the player to take, such as what button to push for the character to progress correctly in the scene.
An overlay and/or minimal interface with naturalistic design features, providing required information for the player to progress.
A non-naturalistic designed interface, that usually incorporates bars. Not designed for story feature, but purely as an aid to the player (non-diegetic information).
Objects (props and non-interactable), scenery, characters, places, architecture, effects, etc. Also extended by sound.
Cinematics
A cut-scene is a short cinematic to progress the story, or emphasise points of the game, wherein the protagonist can take no action during.

A killshot can be a zoom in and/or slowing of action to emphasise a killing move on an enemy. Also referred to as killcam, coup de grace, finisher, flourish etc
Social immersion is the effect that other player characters have on the feelings of flow, presence, enjoyment. This includes co-operative play, MMOs, and player e versus player competition.
Game difficulty is a combination of the player skill versus the game tasks. This can be one reason (as well as something like lack of interest) that frustrates players to abandon the game, however, level of difficulty is important to engagement. Difficulty can be set by player or game.

An adaptive gaming system allows for adjustments of difficulty. This can done proactively, before part of the game is attempted, or retroactively after a player has begun or still participating. This might include the player adjusting their character, dynamic adjustment of design of the level, adjustment to NPC's or dynamic scripting that adjusts the difficulty of the game by changing to suit the player's skill level.

Alexander, Justin T., John Sear, and Andreas Oikonomou. “An Investigation of the Effects of Game Difficulty on Player Enjoyment.” Entertainment Computing 4.1 (2013): 53–62.
Qin, Hua, Pei Luen Patrick Rau, and Gavriel Salvendy. “Effects of Different Scenarios of Game Difficulty on Player Immersion.” Interacting with Computers 22.3 (2010): 230–239.
Grimshaw, Mark, John P Charlton, and Richard Jagger. “First-Person Shooters: Immersion and Attention.” Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture 5.1 (2011): 29–44.
Fraser, James, Michael Katchabaw, and Robert E. Mercer. “An Experimental Approach to Identifying Prominent Factors in Video Game Difficulty.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) 8253 LNCS.4 (2013): 270–283.
Alexander, Justin T., John Sear, and Andreas Oikonomou. “An Investigation of the Effects of Game Difficulty on Player Enjoyment.” Entertainment Computing 4.1 (2013): 53–62.
Qin, Hua, Pei Luen Patrick Rau, and Gavriel Salvendy. “Effects of Different Scenarios of Game Difficulty on Player Immersion.” Interacting with Computers 22.3 (2010): 230–239.
Grimshaw, Mark, John P Charlton, and Richard Jagger. “First-Person Shooters: Immersion and Attention.” Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture 5.1 (2011): 29–44.
Frasca, Gonzalo. “Simulation versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology.” Video/Game/Theory. Ed. Mark J P Wolf and Bernard Perron. Routledge, 2003. Print.
Arjoranta, Jonne. “Meaning Effects in Video Games : Focalization , Granularity and Mode of Narration in Games Meaning Effects in Video Games Focalization , Granularity and Mode of Narration in Games.” N. p., 2013. Print.
Grimshaw, Mark, Siu-lan Tan, and Scott D Lipscombc. “Playing with Sound: The Role of Music and Sound Effects in Gaming.” Psychology of Music in Multimedia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 289–315. Print.
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