Fundamentals of Immersion

Jun 12
Gouveia, P. (2009). Narrative paradox and the design of alternate reality games (ARGs) and blogsIEEE Consumer Electronics Society’s Games Innovation Conference 2009 (ICE – GIC 09Proceedings. Imperial College, South Kensington, London, pp. 231-38. In
  • An exploration of games that argues that the simultaneity of narrative, combined with the growing desire of players to perform as actors in other narratives, is expanding the potential for game development. This paper is a little unfocused for my purposes but it provides links to other thinkers, such as Eskelinen and Salen & Zimmerman, whose work might be useful for my taxonomy of immersion.
  • “pervasive games”, “playable fiction”
  • Mourao: “hyperfiction”
  • Games are non-linear but each players’ actions imply linearity w/ a beginning, middle, and end
  • Torben Grodal: videogames are stories for the eyes, ears, and muscles
  • the protagonist is simultaneously and the agent of character actions
  • “it is suggested that the trick for developing a working base for interactive drama is to integrate the phenomenological aspect of first-person experiences with structural aspects from well designed, third-person stories”
  • Player has four functions (Eskelinen): interpretative, exploratory, configurative, textonic
  • the human-machine interface allows players to create their own personal experiences where they perform as actors
    • this relationship is performative
  • “the pleasures of becoming actors” is being discovered by players
  • “as game-actors they become masters of interpretive embodiment; they accept as their mission the real world incarnation of a digital design”
  • Salen & Zimmerman: every game is a simulation and a cybernetic system of control
  • implosive stories: where things happen simultaneously

Rose, Frank. The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories. W.W. Norton & Company, 2012. 

Introduction through Chapter 2

  • An effective history of the origin of the ARG. Highlights some problems the ARG faces but doesn’t engage with my main question: how do you get players if you don’t have a huge budget or a valuable property to attach it to?
  • The internet is a chameleon – it can act like all media
  • it is inherently participatory
  • immersive: “you can drill down as deeply as you like about anything you care to”
  • “Deep media” eg Lost, Dr Who, Avatar – media that asks more engagement than its runtime
  • Why So Serious ARG implicated the players as accomplices with the Joker’s heist that starts the Dark Knight film.
  • nonlinear, collaborative
  • Jordan Weisman, credited with inventing the format
    • “on the net we sift through information we don’t care about like an archaeologist sifting through dirt”
  • Game The Beast for AI: Artificial Intelligence in 2001 was the first
  • unlimited players have unlimited resources, unlimited time, unlimited money – they solved everything in a day
  • attempt at subscription ARG called Majestic
  • Otaku: passion, obsession, yearning to immerse oneself in stories. the desire to experience the universe through as many different media as possible. A need to expand that universe by telling new stories within it.

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