Posted on March 2, 2018
3-6 min of 110% Immersion
Super Smash Bros is an immersive game that is unlike most immersive games we played in class. Unlike the games in class that we played, which were all narrative based and attracted you based off the scenery or music or even storyline, SSBM gains its immersion purely by people’s competitive nature. It is similar to games like FIFA or maybe some other street fighter games, where you play another person, or multiple people in a showdown that has a relatively short and limited time. For this short amount of time, you are completely immersed in the game, trying to beat your opponent.
However, not all people view an immersive game in this sense. In Jamie Madigan’s article, The Phycology of Immersive Video Games, Jamie describes an immersive game to fall under two categories,” those that create a rich mental model of the game environment and those that create consistency between the things in that environment.” She then dives into the two categories further and provides examples of both richness and consistency within the environment. She describes richness as fulfilling as many channels of sensory as possible and having a strong narrative or plot. However, with SSBM, we see this is not the case. SSBM does fill some channels of sensory, but not nearly as many as it can, but it’s still a massively immersive game. SSBM doesn’t have a rich narrative or plot line, but players still gather around the world and compete in huge tournaments. In addition to the richness, Jaimie talks about consistency within the environment to create an immersive game. She states that some consistent game traits include, “an unbroken presentation of the game world” and “interactivity with items in the game world”. SSBM breaks both molds of a consistent environment. As I addressed before, it is based off quick games and you are only really playing for short amounts of time, which clearly contradicts with the characteristic of an unbroken world. And although SSBM does have items in the world you can interact with, that isn’t the main premise of the game, and more then often isn’t utilized in normal play.
For the above observations about SSBM, I must disagree with Jaimie and say this is not a comprehensive list of what constitutes an immersive game.
The Psychology of Immersion in Video Games | The Psychology of Video Games. http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2010/07/the-psychology-of-immersion-in-video-games/. Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.