Quantifying the Experience of Immersion in Games

in Cognitive Science of Games and Gameplay workshop at Cognitive Science 2006, Conference paper (text), Vancouver, Canada

Abstract

Games are undoubtedly the most successful computer application yet it is not easy to attribute their success to any one particular feature. Nonetheless, when talking about games, gamers and reviewers frequently refer to the immersive experience of the game as an important aspect to be attained. However, it is not clear what immersion is and even if it is a comparable experience between different players and different games. This paper aims to develop more quantifiable and therefore objective measures of immersion. We describe a study into switching from an immersive gaming experience to another task, not in the game world. Though the degree of immersion does seem to have an impact on the ability to perform the task, the experimental approach is complex and possibly quite fragile. We therefore set out hypotheses for a similar experiment with the aim of exploring whether eyetracking and body motion provide better indicators of the degree of immersion.