In an optical or physical sense, the capabilities of modern day computers have really put “reality” immersion within reach. Yet, this aspect of immersion–the “wow it looks so real” factor–has become a crutch and the only pillar of the immersion experience for which most games aim. Maybe it’s easier to sell or produce en masse. It seems like a distraction or an eventually empty substitute for what was once the key tenet of the “immersion” experience–the ability to “do anything” in a game.
When it comes down to it, there are only a few things you can do in a modern game–shoot, jump, manoeuvre, open doors, push switches, select weapons, and pick up ammo. Even other games, like strategy and simulation, limit you to a small set of actions. While some games allow you to carry conversations, it is only within a narrow script in which your only real choice is in what order you read what the character has to say. Though a lot of time is spent giving the impression of vast worlds and endless corridors, you really can’t just do anything. —Leopold McGinnis —Keyboard power (Adventure Classic Gaming)
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