When gamers feel like they are involved deeply in a game and lose track of time playing it, they might say that the game is immersive. In my experience playing games I feel like the word immersion does not refer to one type of game (ex. hi-res 4k, first person, open-world game with no HUD), rather it refers to how elements like sound, light, gameplay mechanics, etc. are used in order to keep the player interested in the game. I feel like the word immersive is not a valid way to describe a game as it is player specific. Someone might say the first legend of Zelda game immerses him because it is a sort of open world game with a lot of places to explore, dungeons to conquer and he might really like the theme song, meanwhile, his friend might not get immersed in it because it is a fantasy game, the graphics are pixellated, it is 3rd person and it is 2D. Sometimes aiming for realism to create immersion could result in the opposite. The History Channel's game Battle for the Pacific is a game that opts to create the feeling of being in World War II by recreating some of the battles, however, a player will immediately lose immersion when they get stuck behind the squad leader in a trench, AI of enemies not being able to hit them and bad shooting mechanics.
A game I really like playing and I feel hooked to is Doom. My first experience was playing the first Doom created in 1993. As soon as I started up the first level I was immediately blown away by the song "At Doom's Gate". The level design of this game also helps with the experience as each level is carefully crafted to lead the player to the end however does not feel too linear.
In the new game created in 2016, the graphics are massive contributors to why people get immersed in the game. However, this game also has a lot of new demon-killing tricks up its sleeve which could keep the player hooked to the screen waiting for more monsters to kill in creative ways, utilising a huge arsenal of weapons, with a lot of upgrades, at your disposal.
I will go on to describe this further using Gordon Calleja's six aspects that make up an immersive experience in relation to my experience with Doom games.
Kinesthetic Involvement deals with in-game control and movement. In the old Doom, the player could only move back, forward, left, and right, and look left and right but not up and down. on the other hand in the new Doom, the player can move and look in any direction, double jump and grab onto ledges. There is almost no fall damage in the game which encourages the user to jump on enemies to make a death-from-above kill.
Ludic Involvement encapsulates the player's interaction with the game rules. In both Doom games, there are a number of rules like having a health and armour bar that you have to keep an eye on, some monsters must be killed in a specific way, and some doors can only be opened with specific keys.
Affective Involvement is concerned with emotion. Since the story of Doom Guy is not a big deal in the game the affective involvement must come from something else. The environment of a game can affect how involved one can get within the game. although the old game looks dated now back then it was revolutionary. It was one of the first "3D" ever and no gamer has ever seen anything like it. The new game looks very realistic in terms of graphics, but judging from the trailer for its sequel, it did not look realistic enough and with each iteration, the graphical boundary is pushed.
Narrative Involvement - A story can make the player curious of what will unfold in the story and keep the player stuck to the screen. In Doom the story is not given a lot of importance. Those wish to know the story behind it are free to do it but it is not imposed.
Shared Involvement refers to multiplayer games or interaction with some other AI character. Doom has an online fps mode. although it is not as popular as the main game there is one gimmick that keeps people playing it. this is the ability to turn into a demon to kill other players.
Spatial Involvement deals with the environment of the game. Doom has a lot of landmarks that help the player where he/ she is on the map. the player can also check the mini-map to check out where they have traversed and where keys and other items are located.
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