Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Learn 2 RP: Immersion

Immersion is a word you will probably hear a lot if you spend any time in role-play forums or discussions. What does it mean when people talk about their immersion? Well Dictionary.com gives this definition:

immersion [i-mur-zhuhn, -shuhn]
  1. an act or instance of immersing.
  2. state of being immersed.
  3. state of being deeply engaged or involved; absorption.
  4. baptism in which the whole body of the person is submerged in the water.
  5. Also called ingress. Astronomy. the entrance of a heavenly body into an eclipse by another body, an occultation, or a transit. Compare emersion

For role-playing purposes, I believe most people would use definition number 3, state of being deeply engaged or involved. In game that would mean you are into your character and their story, you are integrated with the conversation you are having with others. This does not believe you are your character or anything crazy like that (although there are those people out there).

The best way I can describe it is to use a metaphor such as going to see a scary movie. A movie can make you physically jump in your seat when the monster springs out. (I also have a tendency to scream which is why I stopped watching horror movies.) You aren’t in any danger yourself safely sitting in the theater, but you are so engrossed in the movie you react to it.

This is sort of how immersion works for role-players. Those emotes and text come alive and allow us to feel apart of the situation. Best way create this immersion is to stay in character. Keep the OOC in a separate channel or out of the conversation completely!

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