An immersive environment is typically associated with a virtual world. Most often this virtual world is made up inside of a video game. Video games are probably the most widely used form of entertainment that gives us the greatest sense of immersion. This also ties in with interactivity because we use a controller to interact with the virtual worlds within these video games and get different sensory feedback from our actions. The virtual environments in some of these video games can send the player into a state where they forget about their own surroundings. They can lose a sense of time and become entranced and focused on only what they are doing in the video game. This is what being immersed in an environment is all about. Video games use three kinds of immersion which are Tactical, Strategic and Narrative. Tactical immersion is the type of immersion that I feel to be the most critical in video games.
Tactical immersion is the moment by moment act of playing the video game. Typically video games that have tactical immersion are usually fast paced. It’s when the player is required to perform immediate actions that require very little time to perform. It’s what people called getting “into the zone”. They fall into a trance and become completely immersed in the game environment. Tactical Immersion is also what gives us those visceral feelings we get when playing video games. It’s these feelings that make us come back for more and enable us to become very proficient at performing fast and simple tasks inside the game. A good example of a game that has tactical immersion would be Rock Band. This is a musical rhythm game that has different coloured notes scroll down a set path and requires the player to hit these notes in time to the music. The drumming is especially immersive because all the notes follow the same beat and basic patterns that you hear on the drum track when playing a song. When playing this game, you experience more than just listening to the music. You essentially get a visceral feeling that you are physically playing the song itself. The notes are all in time to the music, but the player must hit these notes at the correct time that correspond to the song. This is a very simple task, but is very fast paced, which allows this game to have tactical immersion and send the player into a sort of trance, giving them an immersive music experience in the game.
To me, being in an immersive environment is where I am not thinking about anything else except for what I am doing in that environment, whether it be drumming along to a song in rock band or watching a good movie, I become engrossed in the moment and enjoy what I am doing. I do not think about anything else. This is what being immersed is all about.