Immersion

By definition, immersion is the “state of being deeply engaged or involved; absorption” (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/immersion). In today’s digital and gaming technologies, a lot of products are being made to ‘immerse’ and audience or user in a different world or environment. With the rise of Virtual Reality, new gaming technologies have been taken away from the screen, and into a whole new 3D world. And although VR can be seen by some as one of the few ways to completely immerse oneself into a game or visual, the idea of immersion can be achieved in many different ways. As McMahan states, “immersion is not totally dependent on the physical dimensions of the technology” (McMahan. A, 2011), therefore, the state of immersion can be felt in many different ways, VR being one of them. McMahan continues to explain that there are 3 conditions that need to be met to create a sense of immersion:

1. the user’s expectations of the game or environment must match the environment’s conventions fairly closely
2. the user’s actions must have a non-trivial impact on the environment
3. the conventions of the world must be consistent

I will remember these conditions when I am creating my work, because although my final outcome is not going to a game – which is what McMahan is referring to – these terms can be applied to other forms of immersion. I will make sure that the conventions of immersion, such as 360˚ and surround sound, are applied in my own work, to ensure that the audience/user are completely engaging with the project.

(McMahan. A, 2011, http://www.phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Institute/Kultur_und_Medien/Medien_und_
Kulturwissenschaft/Dozenten/Szentivanyi/Computerspielanalyse_aus_
kulturwissenschaftlicher_Sicht/mcmahan.pdf)

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