To add to Michelle’s post, she said: “To be in the immersion sequence, the person involved must invest time, effort and attention. And when a person reaches total immersion, participants become so engrossed to a point where the only thing that matters is the game.”
In Michelle’s example, she uses ‘video games’ as an example of immersive environments. To expand on that idea, we can look at The Sims 3 and how the creators of the game have made a virtual world that you can experience through characters on the screen. The user has an array of physical features to pick from, as well as personality traits for their character. Many user’s first instinct is to create a virtual version of themselves, and see how their life plays out in the game. There is no end goal that you work towards in the game; the point is to just live in a world that you help create. You build a house for your character, buy furniture, get a job, get a spouse, have children, interact with other Sims in the game and even grow older. The user more or less plays ‘God.’ A new feature in The Sims 3 allows characters to explore their neighborhood and even enter their friends houses and public areas.
The change from the original house hold view in previous Sims games, to the whole neighbourhood view creates a more immersive world for the user, where your Sim can interact with almost everything. They can even catch bugs outside and collect them in their inventory to sell later. The idea of The Sims 3 is to simulate real life in a realistic virtual platform where the user is highly concentrated and can relate with the characters.
I know from my own experience with The Sims 3 that it is a very addictive and time consuming game. The neighbourhood created in the game forces the user to become highly involved with their character because you strive to keep them happy in their world. The game has endless interaction options with every object around your Sim. Also, your Sim has a mood that can change just by being around undesirable things (ie. smelly things) in their environment. I have been a Sim player since the original game came out, followed by all of the expansion packs. If you’ve ever played the Sims, you know how addictive it can be. It’s like virtual barbies, a game in which little girls use their imagination to animate their toys.
In my experience, this is the only computer game that never gets boring. This is because you experience something different every time you play. This kind of environment where you live life through a character is important because it lets you experience the things your character is experiencing. The Sims is a creative accomplishment because it is an interactive work in which the user’s create the narrative.
Even more Recently, creators of Second Life try and create a similar world of human beings. Their aim is to create a immersive online world where users create characters that roam the web-world and can access information in a visual way. This technology transforms the way we access information from the internet. It brings an element of tactile learning to the web.