“Is Immersion a Core Game Virtue?” written by Raph Koster

Koster says in 2012 that, “Immersion is not a core game virtue. It was a style, one that has had an amazing run, and may continue to pop up from time to time the way that we still hear swing music in the occasional pop hit.” Which made me question whether or not the accuracy in that is true, where you look at a game series like Assassin’s Creed or World of Warcraft or the one hit wonder games like Minecraft which are all roleplaying, immersive games that have seen continued success throughout the years. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is set to be released this year and is planned to be a bang following a poor rating this last year.

While Koster’s argument is that immersion isn’t a core game value, I would argue that with the new generations becoming young adults that they are experiencing their fantasy and dream time within these video games where reading books and enjoying their own personal imagination has become a nerdy hobby for extroverts who are identified in high school as nerds. The issue I see with immersion driven games is that it promotes young people to explore a confined realm as to imagination without limits in a book or in their own work, writing down their imagined world and thoughts.



2 thoughts on ““Is Immersion a Core Game Virtue?” written by Raph Koster”

  1. Excellent point. There are clearly plenty of games out there right now that privilege exploration, deep engagement, and immersion, so on the strict merits, Koster seems to have overshot a bit. (Although he does indicate a similar point, that there will always be games out there for those seeking immersion in a niche market.)

    He would probably agree with you that these games will continue to exist, but also want to clarify that they are not the norm, and that immersion is not a *core* value, i.e., *all* games don’t have to have it. Some games, perhaps now even most games, can be quick diversions and still be considered games (and fun, even great).


  2. It really surprises me that the current US literacy rate has not changed. In my life, I has seen a huge difference in how young people spend their time. Now that video games are popular and wide spread, young people have access to them almost anywhere they go, especially if they have a smart phone. I see kids playing video games way more often than I have ever seen kids reading. But now that I think about it most video games involve reading, even if some people ignore that aspect. I wonder if video games are actually helping with reading, since most of them require reading dialogue in order to play the game. Young children want to be involved in this gaming thing because it is popular, and that may be forcing them to pick up reading faster than they would have.


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