I've caught myself saying it too: I love this game
because it's so immersive! Whether it's the graphics, animation, art style, accuracy of game play or whatever; immersion is a popular explanation as to why we enjoy certain games. But is this accurate anymore? Are we past that novelty?
A recent article at Gamasutra
explores this topic and the whole psychology of immersion. Despite what some of the most vocal advocates of immersion might preach, the truth is that graphical realism in a game usually only applies to a niche market. For example, just look at the Nintendo Wii
and its casual, yet enormous audience
. One could argue that there is immersion in the motion control, yet none in the art style. This can also be carried a step further into World of Warcraft
. While there are certainly strong opinions against the game's stylized graphics, 11 million people don't seem to mind.
So what are your thoughts on immersion? Are realistic graphics a requirement for you, or would you play a 2D MMO if the gameplay was perfect?