quarta-feira, 12 de junho de 2013

Immersion, image & games

Last week we had the announcement of the new Microsoft's console, Xbox One. Few weeks ago we saw the presentation of the Playstation 4 and Nintendo launched the Wii U in the beginning of the year. The new generation of video games is here and gamers are curious about the enormous possibilities of this new communicational ecosystem. Undoubtedly, the graphics are one important piece to analyze in this process.

What I want to highlight in this discussion is the evolution of graphics on video games, since the first electronic games until today. We had a great leap from the first textual games (like Zork) to the modern first person shooters (like Call of Dutty).

Graphics on video games are important pieces to a player’s immersion. And I’m not talking about realistic graphics only, because all we know that an abstract game like Tetris could create a strong immersion in the players. A textual game could be immersive too, but it seems that images can be more determinant in this complex act.

As Aarseth remembers (1997, p.102) “images, specially moving images, are more powerful representations of spatial relations than texts, and therefore this migration from text to graphics is natural and inevitable”.

I think it’s possible to say that the main object of the graphics on a game is to be a kind of “bridge” or “portal” to the immersion. A kind of facilitator/translator to the player to get totally inside the game interface.

As Nitsche says (2008, p.44) “evocative narrative elements encourage players to project meaning onto events, objects, and spaces in game worlds. They help to infuse significance. Their value is not realized on the level of the element itself but in the way players read and connect them. Creating these connections, players can form narratives that refer to the game world. If this meaning assignment becomes very strong, the virtual items themselves can leave the rule-based space, fictional space, social space, and even the play space”.

In a world full of possibilities of connections and full of screens all around it’s important to study ways to create better immersion process to our players.

Now on to your opinion.


AARSETH, Espen. Cibertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. The Johns Hopkins University Press: Maryland, 1997.

NITSCHE, Michael. VIDEO GAME SPACES: image, play and structure in 3Dnworlds. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2008

Um comentário:

  1. I like Heavy rain and your (considering the year of release) perfect graphic and I was chocked when I got the Final Fantasy X-II, but I'm really more confortable playing zork, candy box, spy vs spy till all the game boy advanced games.

    (sorry my english, I'm trying to get back to practice)