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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: thoughts on why immersion is a tar baby  (Read 26826 times)
Seth L. Blumberg
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Posts: 303


« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2002, 08:43:34 AM »

M.J.: I can take personality tests "in-character" too. I just don't think of it as immersion, because for each question, I have to say to myself, "Now what would [character name] say?" I've always thought that, were I really immersed in the character, the answer would come automatically.

Emily: I like "Locus of Engagement," but then, I've always liked the word "locus" and tend to use it as often as possible. As for your curiosity about my experience of Sensations of Engagement, you had previously explicitly included feelings in response to the experience of engagement under that heading, and that's what I was referring to. Full Engagement is a very emotional experience for me, despite not usually involving Proxy Sensation.
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the gamer formerly known as Metal Fatigue
M. J. Young
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Posts: 2198


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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2002, 09:48:57 PM »

Quote from: Emily Care
M.J.: Do you use the same Processes to do it as you use when playing in character? This might be a good topic for a thread of it's own.

I don't know about another thread; but I would say that it is the same process. In fact, after writing that thread, I picked a character I'd played in a recent short-lived campaign, a female irda wizard of high sorcery in a D&D game, who seemed particulary different from me, and got ENFP (finally found a character who was feeling instead of thinking). I also noticed as I went through the quiz that a lot of the answers flowed very quickly, almost moreso than when I took it as myself (although that was the first time I'd seen the questions). It seems to be a matter of selecting core elements of who I am pretending to be, and then following them to their logical conclusions. I don't really have to think that much about most of the answers; I just "know" who this person is.

It may be that I have a sort of intuitive understanding of people. I've often correctly predicted an opinion, decision, or action of a friend, as a "that's the sort of thing he would/wouldn't do". These characters are easier in several ways--they are less dimensional, less complex; and it's harder to be "wrong" since they can't contradict. So it may be that I'm creating composites from people I know and then extrapolating their views and choices into the questions as I would into situations. (On the other hand, it comes to me that I've been credited with creating truly alien races who still make sense and have individual variation despite being entirely inhuman in their attitudes in some fundamental way, so I'm not certain whether it's as simple as it seems.)

--M. J. Young
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Emily Care
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2002, 12:00:43 PM »

Seth:
Quote from: Seth L. Blumberg
Emily: I like "Locus of Engagement," but then, I've always liked the word "locus" and tend to use it as often as possible.

The best part is that we get to use the multiple: Loci. So appropriate to invoke a god of chaos when talking about immersion. :)
Quote from: Seth L. Blumberg
As for your curiosity about my experience of Sensations of Engagement, you had previously explicitly included feelings in response to the experience of engagement under that heading, and that's what I was referring to. Full Engagement is a very emotional experience for me, despite not usually involving Proxy Sensation.

Very interesting.  Proxy Sensation may be more central to Character Engagement. Since your Locus is World, what parts of the experience evoke emotional responses for you? The satisfaction of learning about a world and it's components or your personal reactions to the events your character is experiencing? What is your emotional component to engagement?

M.J.: What is your locus of engagement? Is character where you get the most focused enjoyment out of playing, and "lose" yourself? Or are there other aspects of playing (competition, drama, narrative, etc.) that allow you to feel you are immersed?  

Anyone else have thoughts on which of the following areas(or others you think of), specifically, are your areas of primary enjoyment, engagement and immersion?

Can you see areas that are not ones you enjoy, and are problematic for your experience of immersion?

Locus of Engagement:
Character-- character being played by person in question
System-- mechanics, free-form adjudication etc.
World-- elements in setting, including other characters (pc or npc), their descriptions and interactions
Strategy-- overcoming obstacles, achieving goals
Psychological Exploration--one's own responses to in-game material (may overlap with Theme)
Story-- plot or narrative
Drama-- narrative tension and suspense
Theme-- narrativist exploration of questions and conflicts through setting and character
Social Interaction-- playing the game for the social and interpersonal interaction among the participants
                    themselves,

--Emily Care
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Black & Green Games
Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2002, 01:33:27 PM »

Now how does this Locus of engagement work? Do particular individuals focus on a single locus or are they all important to all player by varying degress and for a particylar individual does it become a loci juggling act to focus on the various loci at crucial points in certain circumstances?
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2002, 05:16:34 PM »

Attempting to answer both Emily and Jack here, let me start with Jack,
Quote from: who
Do particular individuals focus on a single locus or are they all important to all player by varying degress and for a particylar individual does it become a loci juggling act to focus on the various loci at crucial points in certain circumstances?

This is a subjective answer, but my inclination is that the locus is that point from which you experience the rest.

Quote from: That is, as Emily
M.J.: What is your locus of engagement? Is character where you get the most focused enjoyment out of playing, and "lose" yourself? Or are there other aspects of playing (competition, drama, narrative, etc.) that allow you to feel you are immersed?

I think that for me, what happens is I am identifying with my character, and all of the rest enhances my ability to do so, even as the identification with my character enables me to experience the rest in an "immersive" way. That is, I could sit around imagining that I am my character in a dining room eating dinner, but whether I eat my meat with my potatoes or finish one before starting the other is not all that interesting after a while. It is as things happen that my character is given the opportunity to react and interact, and so to express himself in the game. All of the potential loci you've identified can enhance that; each of them helps mold the character into who he becomes.

I'm reminded of a note I wrote in my literary journal years before I began role playing. It concerned the notion of "character development", which is something we've all heard mentioned in our English Lit classes at some point in our lives. My thought at the time was that "character development" was little more than the author putting the character in situations and understanding how it responded; but that idea of "how the character responded" was insufficiently understood by me then. The question is not merely how does the character respond to this, but beyond that how does this change the character? My characters are people; but they are also becoming people, just as I am still in the process of becoming someone. Interaction with other characters, setting, events, obstacles, issues, and even mechanics cause the character to become someone, not merely to reveal who he is but to go beyond that and change in response to the world in which he lives.

So I would say that a single locus seems to be the point from which the rest of the game is experienced.

Of course, this is all very subjective; I'd be interested in whether Sidhain, for example, sees it differently.

--M. J. Young
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Emily Care
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2002, 09:06:51 AM »

Quote from: Jack Spencer Jr
Do particular individuals focus on a single locus or are they all important to all player by varying degress and for a particular individual does it become a loci juggling act to focus on the various loci at crucial points in certain circumstances?


I anticipate that some people have multiple loci.   And yes, it would be a juggling game--in the individual, and also at the group level. The group has to balance the individual preferences of the players to keep everyone happy.

Quote from: M.J. Young
I think that for me, what happens is I am identifying with my character, and all of the rest enhances my ability to do so, even as the identification with my character enables me to experience the rest in an "immersive" way.

M.J.: The way I've used locus, it has referred to the area of gaming in which one experiences immersion or engagement.  It sounds like you are saying that you experience engagement in other areas than character, and that in order to do so, you need to be immersed in character. Is that accurate?  

If so, I would phrase it that your experience of Character Immersion is your primary Locus, which  functions an internal process that is required for you to engage in all of your various loci.  

Does this sound like it describes your experience? I am trying to be very specific in my use of these terms.

Quote from: M.J. Young
So I would say that a single locus seems to be the point from which the rest of the game is experienced.

Of course, this is all very subjective; I'd be interested in whether Sidhain, for example, sees it differently.


Exactly.  For you, the locus of Character is the most important factor in allowing you to engage with the various aspects of role-playing.

--Emily Care
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Black & Green Games
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