Showing posts from January, 2009

Immersion - what's it good for?

I want to react to Sarah's excellent blog post . For now I'll just comment on a very small part of it and talk about that; I'll leave other things for later. It is related to things said in the comments to my previous post, to the piece by Internisus I quoted, and in fact to a lot of things I have heard over the years. Here is the snippet: So this is the great advantage of Actor stance: facilitating immersion. Immersion. What is it, and what it is good for? Immersion apparently is a mental state in which we identify ourselves with a character; but identify outselves with that character in a very specific way, namely, we achieve for a moment something that approaches forgetfulness about the difference between ourselves and the character. When I say: "I am like Hamlet, for I too think incessantly about my interior", I am identifying myself with Hamlet, but I am not immersed. But when I read the play and feel rage at the king's betrayal and want to revenge myse

Actor stance, make way!

Internisus writes : Are you familiar with Victor Gijsbers's experimental Figaro? It's an IF in which, at specific points, the game asks the player what s/he would like to see in the story. For example, you're spying on a scene, and a guy walks in. Now the game pauses to ask you whether you want the guy to be, say, your shady uncle or your romantic interest's boyfriend. You choose which way you want the story to go, and the narrative continues. It's a normal IF in every other respect. Victor wrote a short paper explaining the thinking behind this idea, and I wrote something on raif explaining why I absolutely hate it. Is it hard to see why? It's vaguely promising for some applications, perhaps, but for the most part in any title where you play a character with all the mortal and finite restrictions that apply to being a person , you absolutely should not have godlike control over the narrative. Some things are just out of your control--that's life! Who that