#1 Posted by wemibelec90 (1664 posts) -

I am absolutely lousy at immersing myself in a fictional world, be it in a book or a game. My brain is too quick to remind me that it is only a game and I can't help but see all the moving pieces that shatter the illusion. I feel that I'm missing out on a key part of what makes games interesting, that ability to feel like you are a part of something new and exciting.

Does anyone have any tips they use to immerse themselves in a game? Certain habits, set-up before playing the game, or anything like that? I would appreciate some other people's insights on how they are able to sink entirely into a game's world.

#2 Edited by EVO (3908 posts) -

Lights off, headphones on.

#3 Posted by egg (1467 posts) -

Interesting thread. not sure what you mean. Maybe it happens to me naturally so I never think about it. Personally I think it's very hard to focus on playing a game if anything. If you can play the game at all (enough to find enjoyment in it) then immersing yourself in the world shouldn't be an issue. If it is, then maybe it's just you. I don't see what you'd do to change it. Maybe put on a different shirt.

Actually a serious suggestion is to see if you have the same problem on PC, console, and handheld. That could prove to be very insightful.

#4 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1852 posts) -

@EVO said:

Lights off, headphones on.

#5 Posted by IzzyGraze (850 posts) -

I usually do a bit of RP. If there's a moral choice I think of what my character would do. Also customizing your character whenever possible instead of being all "fuck it I'll just be looking at my character's A$$ anyway." Think of your character as an actual character and Role Play that shit.

#6 Edited by Loafsmooch (349 posts) -

@EVO said:

Lights off, headphones on.

#7 Posted by Daiphyer (1337 posts) -

Try glitching into walls. That always helps.

#8 Posted by CannonGoose (373 posts) -

Read every bit of fan fiction you can find about the games you are trying to immerse yourself in.

#9 Posted by Sbaitso (534 posts) -

Play with time set aside when you don't have anything else on your mind and then

Lights off, headphones on.

#10 Posted by Aronleon (770 posts) -

First and for most since you already have a hard time trying to get into a game try this, just let the real world go for a second, make time to play a game and only that, put your phone in silence trow it away, if there are people in the house close the door and maybe headphones. I find the best way for me to get into a world is caring about the character or the history the game presents, don't dismiss it right away, try telling your brain that whatever happens in the game, book or movie is the law, for example in Getter Robo 3 jets go at ridiculous speeds and then join each other to form a giant robot in like 1 second that has tomahawks stored in his shoulders and fight mechanic dinosaurs, if you accept that as the norm then all is good if not well there are a millions ways that sounds like the worst premise you ever heard. Try not to be so serious about it and maybe you can get immersed into the game book or even movie. Hope that helps.

#11 Edited by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

@Loafsmooch said:

@EVO said:

Lights off, headphones on.

#12 Posted by supamon (1333 posts) -

Lights off and a good surround sound set or headphones.

#13 Posted by supamon (1333 posts) -

Oh and be invested the characters. Don't think of them as bot#256. Reading up on novel/lore helps that and gives context.

#14 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

You just have to be invested in the environment, atmosphere, and world that the game presents. Don't just play like an MG pro leet. If you wanna immerse yourself in a game like CoD, use cover like you would in reality, not like you would in a video game. Check your corners even though your gamer brain is telling you you'll be safe from enemies. You're basically role playing on a sort of meta level.

And I also think it takes a certian kind of game to get immersed in. The better the atmosphere the easier, in my experience. Call of Pripyat is a great example of that for me. I'd camp out, I'd scout locations, observe hostile or potentially hostile individuals, "hunt", etc. When one of the crazy storms happened, I was genuinely a little freaked out, and frantically searched for cover. After that first storm, I was always keenly aware of where the nearest known shelter was.

Headphones and lights off can be good, but I actually find a decent amount of light is almost always more appropriate if you're playing a game that isn't something like amnesia.

I also feel the same about headphones. They can help cut out the rest of the world, but they won't give you the experience that a good 2.1 setup will with the sub turned up all the way while you play something like Bad Company and can feel the engine in your entire body while you drive the tank.

#15 Posted by Nightriff (5084 posts) -

Dress up in costume, that will really immerse you in the game

#16 Posted by HH (610 posts) -

patience and efficiency works well for me. i always try to avoid mis-steps, i never rush things, i take my time and try to make each movement precise: avoid walking into walls, look around, make a decision, then move, don't run around in circles trying to figure out what to do.

#17 Posted by adam1808 (1496 posts) -

Use your imagination

#18 Posted by DeF (4888 posts) -

if it doesn't happen then you're playing the wrong games (for you)

#19 Posted by Vod_Crack (721 posts) -

Play while taking a nice bubble bath.

#20 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4677 posts) -

If I am really like a game this just happens naturally for me. I would suggest making there are no distraction around you. As others have said turn off the lights and be in a silent place.

#21 Posted by Maajin (1063 posts) -

Put on those sick 3D glasses. Those are sure to put you right into the GameWorld™.

#22 Posted by EriMus (23 posts) -

Simply not thinking about it too much helps a lot.

#23 Posted by aznjon12 (188 posts) -

Don't immerse yourself in the game, BECOME the game.

#24 Posted by believer258 (11908 posts) -

Maybe you're more like me and you play games because a) they're fun and b) you appreciate the work and effort that was put into them?

I don't get "immersed" in a game in the sense that I've forgotten I'm playing a game. I've been "immersed" in the sense that I'm so focused on the game that I'm not thinking about anything else at all, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten that I'm holding a controller or using a keyboard and mouse.

#25 Posted by Akyho (1647 posts) -

One of my most immersive moments was playing BF3 at a friends house. He had just gotten X41 Turtle beaches and the surround sound while in the game was great however. It was a desert map it was a hot summers day, and he had this tower fan on set to "Breeze" meaning it changes it strength randomly and moves back and forth simulating a summer breeze. I just let it all take me and it felt like I was a sniper prone in the sand with a slight breeze and a sweat on my brow.

Other than that its upto you, like others have said in an RP pretend its you or a character, have a set outline of what your actions should be dictated. Action games as said before Lights off Headphones on and just focus.

#26 Posted by OldGuy (1557 posts) -

Have your spouse/significant other/roommate/sibling/friend whack you with a baseball bat every time you take damage in the game.

#27 Posted by BBQBram (2236 posts) -

I don't know when I'm not immersed so I couldn't say.

#28 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1439 posts) -

That is just you and your brain, and it sounds like you are still enjoying these games/books. If you want to take it a step further, light a bowl.

#29 Posted by bchampnd (108 posts) -

I'll agree with those that said lights off, headphones or surround sound on. This may just be me, but since I started playing PC games I've felt more immersed which I think has to do with proximity to the screen. Sitting on my couch playing 360 or PS3 games just doesn't create the same effect. So I'd say that, whether you're PC gaming or console gaming, get yourself up close to the screen.

This might be obvious but also turn off the ringer and vibration on your phone and put it face down or far away from you so you're not made aware of an incoming call or message by an LED light or the screen turning on. Nothing breaks immersion like getting a call, email or text.

#30 Posted by Caustic_Fox (112 posts) -

If you haven't already, play your games through a decent pair of headphones.

#31 Posted by AlexW00d (6275 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Maybe you're more like me and you play games because a) they're fun and b) you appreciate the work and effort that was put into them?

I don't get "immersed" in a game in the sense that I've forgotten I'm playing a game. I've been "immersed" in the sense that I'm so focused on the game that I'm not thinking about anything else at all, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten that I'm holding a controller or using a keyboard and mouse.

I like the idea that people who like immersion in games don't actually find them fun or appreciate the work or effort put in, you may not have meant it that way, but your wording is pretty shite.

OP: It really depends on the games you play; atmosphere heavy games are generally pretty great for immersion, as are games with a load of lore. It's far easier to become immersed in games like Stalker or Metro 2033 than it is Halo or CoD or something like that.

#32 Edited by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

Having a heart. Sorry there's just no cure for that.

@AlexW00d said:

@believer258 said:

Maybe you're more like me and you play games because a) they're fun and b) you appreciate the work and effort that was put into them?

I don't get "immersed" in a game in the sense that I've forgotten I'm playing a game. I've been "immersed" in the sense that I'm so focused on the game that I'm not thinking about anything else at all, but that doesn't mean that I've forgotten that I'm holding a controller or using a keyboard and mouse.

I like the idea that people who like immersion in games don't actually find them fun or appreciate the work or effort put in, you may not have meant it that way, but your wording is pretty shite.

OP: It really depends on the games you play; atmosphere heavy games are generally pretty great for immersion, as are games with a load of lore. It's far easier to become immersed in games like Stalker or Metro 2033 than it is Halo or CoD or something like that.

Well to be fair, a sim is the most immersive kind of game out there and they tend to not be very fun at all. Even though I love 'em.

#33 Edited by Socialone (202 posts) -

I usually play as myself (same name, same face) and take every RP decision accordingly. Then I set the difficulty to the highest possible and try not to die by all means.

#34 Posted by mosespippy (4183 posts) -

Turn off all HUD elements. Having a fucking arrow pointing to the destination or a marker over a guys head saying "FOLLOW ME" really fucks up immersion.

#35 Edited by bartok (2480 posts) -

1. Make sure your brain port is clean and free of obstructions.

2. For longer gaming sessions be sure to hook up an IV bag filled with a solution containing electrolytes to avoid dehydration.

3. Make sure the catheter tube is properly lubricated before inserting into your urethra.

4. Remember that if you die in The Game you die for real.

#36 Posted by JonathanAshleyMoore (283 posts) -

Never ever force yourself to go into that world again too quickly. Like, if you don't feel like playing the game, don't. If it's a really good game, eventually you will be wanting to get into that world as much as possible and understand it too. I'm presently playing Majora's Mask and just being in Termina feels so incredible, so unsettling and weird.

#37 Posted by TobbRobb (4649 posts) -

I usually have this issue as well. It's mostly caused by always being online though, I can't get into worlds because I'm always checking skype/gb/steam/IRC or whatever for people talking.

I'd say the best way to immerse yourself in a game is to just turn everything unneccessary off completely, all IM software, cell phones EVERYTHING. And then just put a few hours off to sit in a dark room and play.

This could be a bit hard if you don't live alone though, but whatever, put up a do not disturb sign.

#38 Posted by wemibelec90 (1664 posts) -

Thanks everyone! Some great suggestions here. It sounds like the main things I need to do are just shut my brain up when it tries to tell me something isn't real and control my tendency to rush through things.

#39 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

Take a piss so you don't need a piss

#40 Edited by MrVideoGames (30 posts) -

Self Medicate?

#41 Edited by Superfriend (1553 posts) -

Don´t try to think of it as a game that you have to give a score to or something. I know that sounds kinda stupid, but trying to form an opinion about games while you play em should come naturally, not in a forced way.

A LOT of people ruin perfectly good games for themselves (and others) by talking about them on Forums after playing less than a couple of hours. You are no game critic and you don´t have to think about stuff like "pacing" and "character arcs". You just want to have a good time. So, get in the mood for some fantasy for example or some action, maybe by listening to some music or watching a movie. And then just play the goddamn game in the setting you are most comfortable in, but focus on it. No chatwindows, no facebook, no cellphone. Just you and the game. Headphones and a dark room usually help too.

#42 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Maajin said:

Put on those sick 3D glasses. Those are sure to put you right into the GameWorld™.

Put on the PowerGlove™, play some Kinect™. You know, things us Core Gamers™ do.

#43 Posted by GunstarRed (5186 posts) -

Try and get Freddy Krueger to hunt you down in your dreams.

#44 Posted by EarlessShrimp (1639 posts) -

@IzzyGraze: Well to spin-off that, I usually try to decide how I would act in that situation. Then I'll think "oh I'll just do it differently in my next playthrough"

#45 Posted by Harkat (1102 posts) -

Hard to force. Gotta be the right game, with you in the right mood, at a time when you aren't disturbed or stressed by too many worldly goings on and have a quiet place to sit.

#46 Posted by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

Play a quality game.