Immersion is a hot button topic in the video game world. Games are judged quite harshly on how immersive they are. However, immersion is a word that can have many meanings and, in video games, takes many forms. The feeling of immersion is so important to so many games that we thought we would consider what it really means. Here, we’ll answer the age-old question of what makes a video game immersive?
Gameplay immersion refers to the idea that the actual act of playing the game is immersive in and of itself. This can mean many different things depending on the game being played. A rhythm-based game is immersive because you feel connected to the game through its beat. Other games, such as the Dark Souls series, have gameplay that is immersive because every movement and action intensely matters to the experience. There’s no room for anything outside of the game to distract you. Gameplay immersion is tricky to get right but is one of the most sought-after forms of immersion.
This is what many people gravitate towards when speaking about immersion. The game’s visuals are what pull you into its world. You lose your sense of the outside world, and the in-game world begins to come alive right before your eyes. Graphics don’t need to be hyper-realistic to be immersive, though that does help in some cases. Games can have a very stylized art motif and still be graphically immersive. In fact, many of the most graphically immersive games do this by creating an entirely new visual space that players can get lost in.
Immersion through audio comes through all the different ways the game interacts with the player through sound. From something as large as a boss battle’s theme music to something as small as the sound effect that plays when you open a chest. These audio cues are just as important to an immersive experience as the graphics because your eyes and ears need to be able to connect with what they’re seeing and hearing. If there is tonal dissonance there, you can easily be pulled out of the game.
Characters play a huge role in connecting the game to the gamer. In most games, you interact with the game’s world through your character. Whether this character is a normal human doesn’t really matter, so long as their decisions and actions make sense inside the game’s world. Visual and audio cues also matter a lot to character immersion, as the player needs to see and hear the character fully to really make the video game immersive.
At Glassy Eyewear, we know how incredible a truly immersive gameplay experience can be, and we don’t want anything to ruin it. That’s why our computer gaming glasses help reduce eye strain so you can stay immersed in your game longer without hurting yourself.