There are many different levels of immersion into any given situation, which all in my opinion closely relate to the levels of interactivity we all discussed last week.
According to wikipedia these are the levels of Immersion:
- Tactical immersion
- Tactical immersion is experienced when performing tactile operations that involve skill. Players feel “in the zone” while perfecting actions that result in success.
- Strategic immersion
- Strategic immersion is more cerebral, and is associated with mental challenge. Chess players experience strategic immersion when choosing a correct solution among a broad array of possibilities.
- Narrative immersion
- Narrative immersion occurs when players become invested in a story, and is similar to what is experienced while reading a book or watching a movie.
- Spatial immersion
- Spatial immersion occurs when a player feels the simulated world is perceptually convincing. The player feels that he or she is really “there” and that a simulated world looks and feels “real”.
- Psychological immersion
- Psychological immersion occurs when a player confuses the game with real life.
- Sensory immersion
- The experience of entering into the three-dimensional environment, and being intellectually stimulated by it. The player experiences a unity of time and space as the player fuses with the image medium, which affects impression and awareness.
(There are another set of Immersion level categories in which the levels are refered to as sensory-motoric immersion, cognitive immersion and emotional immersion)
All of these types of immersion can be identified & activities can be categorized into them by the amount of stimulation the activity provides to the users nervous system (see oscars post on Levels of interactivity to see how different technological experiences immerse us in different ways).
To create an immersive experience we must build around an experience, if the experience isn’t something that could be fully “real” than the user can not be expected to full immerse them self or “swim” in the data, also as our knowledge & resources are expanding the levels of interactivity that we can tie into our created immersion experiences are rising exponentially which means that in the future it could be possible to create a world that is so immersive that it would resemble something like what is shown in the movie “the Matrix” or the new movie “surrogates” creating a whole new level of data that would be an ever evolving piece of art that would be fully experience by all senses. This piece of art would be unprecedented & a major accomplishment for all those involved in it’s creation. This would be an interactive environment created so perfectly that we could not tell the difference between in & the real world, meaning that we could also collect data to keep the world in a way that it would prevent major (but not all) conflicts because the environment could shift to absolve any problems one could find at any given time. This environment would be the ultimate artistic accomplishment.