As time, and technology, advances one of the core elements that Raph Koster discusses is the idea of immersion in video games. Or is it?
Games didn’t begin immersive, as Koster says about something as simple as mancala. But looking at games we have now, like the newest trend of Pokemon Go! it’s clear to see how immersive we’ve gotten. But is it really immersive as it seems? An immersive experience is one by which Dictionary.com says “noting or pertaining to digital technology or images that deeply involve one’s senses and may create an altered mental state.”
An altered mental state. It’s part of the definition but do we actually achieve it to become fully immersed? The answer may seem like a yes, but it’s probably a no. Koster throws out the idea that even though we’re in this game, we can get notifications to join a party or a group and be in this game with our friends. From this point we can chat about the day we had, or what the other is up to while we play whatever game we’re in; taking out the immersive experience and replacing it with just another way to keep in touch with our friends.
While Pokemon Go! is a big hit right now and a lot of users are taking it to the extreme like how one woman found a dead body, cops are suspecting large groups of Pokemon players to be participating in drug deals, or whatever the case may be; we are normally out trying to catch them all as group or with a friend or two. Does this hinder the immersive aspect the game makers are trying to achieve, or does it only make it better by putting your world in the game and not requiring us to do the imagination for ourselves?