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Old 07-21-2008, 03:28 PM   #1
Violette
 
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Why is immersion better in MUDs?

I was reading an essay about immersion in MMOs and how developers keep failing to reach it. The poster thinks graphics and sound have a lot to do with it. I replied with the fact that there is usually no such thing in muds, yet text-based games provide the best immersion (I hope all agree).

I wasn't able to explain why, though.

Why?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

Graphical MMOs can actually have the effect of pulling you out of the world, making it clear that you're nothing more than an avatar moving around an environment.

It's a lot different in a text environment, where the art is rendered in your mind, the actions are immediate and in your face on the screen, and - particularly in RP-heavy games - your actions can have far-reaching consequences to the ongoing plot.

I don't feel immersed when I play World of Warcraft. I'm running the same quests over and over again, but nothing about the world ever really changes. When I slay a boss in a dungeon, he's back five minutes later. MMOs can't afford to change - it's too expensive from a content standpoint. Text games, though...that's our bread and butter right there.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violette View Post
I replied with the fact that there is usually no such thing in muds, yet text-based games provide the best immersion (I hope all agree).
There are some 1400 MUDs out there, and they can pretty much be tailored to specific user groups. People have a lot of different taste and I imagine that a lot of people define immersion differently. My opinion is that the MMO games are just too big and target too big audience. See it as a book. I am sure most people have started read a book and it turns out to be the wost book they have ever read - while at the same time there are people who find that book to be one of the greatest.

It is interesting that the "essay" points out that MMOs around 1999 when the author appearently played his/her first MMO was very immersive. I have frequently read in the past that people usually compare future muds/mmos to the first one the played - and usually that first mud keeps getting better.

I think it is very wrong to say that graphics yield immersion. If the user is up to the activity and become very engage in it then they are immersed. No matter if it is reading a book, stacking books, or cleaning a room .
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

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Originally Posted by Brody View Post
I don't feel immersed when I play World of Warcraft. I'm running the same quests over and over again, but nothing about the world ever really changes.
Actually if you keep playing the game you might very well be immersed even with that simple game play. Check immersion - Definitions from Dictionary.com

Edit: Something to consider is if too detailed game could reduce chance to reach immersion. The essay writer wrote that example with Star Wars Galaxies where he wanted more detail. For example if you had a flight simulator with high detail that require a professional pilot to get into the air with then clearly that might not be a very engaging activity to most normal users.
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

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Originally Posted by Aeran View Post
Actually if you keep playing the game you might very well be immersed even with that simple game play. Check immersion - Definitions from Dictionary.com
I've been playing WoW since it came out. I've never felt immersed in it. It's pretty, no doubt, but the static nature of the world (which changes only when I have to shell out another $40 or so for an expansion), breaks any true immersion it might otherwise have for me.

It's a fun game ... but it's not as immersive as a text-based environment, for my tastes.
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:42 PM   #6
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The Book and The Movie

Hello Violette,

Here is a link to a thread I created awhile ago that hopefully defines this for you a little:

http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ro...ook-movie.html

Enjoy!
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:05 AM   #7
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

Why is a book more immersive than a cartoon?
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:46 PM   #8
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

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Why is a book more immersive than a cartoon?
I think that you are the only person that can answer that one.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

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Originally Posted by shasarak View Post
Why is a book more immersive than a cartoon?
I'll give this a try, but it's totally subjective as Newworlds pointed out:

A cartoon is very clearly in front of me, generated within an electronic box. The images are clearly defined by Hanna-Barbera or whoever else might have drawn them. The voices are provided courtesy of Casey Kasem! It's the story, the characters, the world as those people see it and define it.

When I read a book, the plot and actions of the characters are defined, but how they sound, what they look like, the world they inhabit - that's pretty much in my mind. That, to me, makes it more immersive. I can lose myself in a book the way I *can't* while watching a cartoon.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:14 AM   #10
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Re: Why is immersion better in MUDs?

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Why is a book more immersive than a cartoon?
That was actually a purely rhetorical question.

I meant to answer the question posed in this thread by saying something like "immersion is better in MUDs than in graphical MMORPGs for exactly the same reasons as reading a book may be more immersive than watching a cartoon".
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