The Thin Line Between 'Immersion' and Frustration

“Immersion” is a gaming industry buzzword at this point. While it used to vaguely motion towards the idea of a player losing themselves to the world of a game, it’s now a nebulous concept trotted out by AAA studios to describe how cool their game is. Somewhere along the line, the thought that making a good game meant it had to be “immersive” began to pervade discourse and trickle into the design of many independent games. An issue that arises from this is the misunderstanding of what actually breaks “immersion.” HUD elements are often seen as a barrier to immersion, when in actuality poor design is more likely to make players “see the seams” than a map showing them where they are. We discuss the ways chasing “immersion” can lead to frustrating moments on this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can read an excerpt and listen to the full episode below.

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