Games have come a long way since the early days of the mid-70s. It’s hard to believe how advanced some of our favorite titles are compared to the forerunners of classic gaming! It’s also safe to say that as technology has advanced – and as the years have gone by – more and more people have demanded a more immersive gaming experience.
But what does ‘immersive’ mean in this context? Does ‘immersive’ literally have to mean strapping on a VR headset and actually stepping into the world of a game to enjoy it? Maybe not. Let’s take a look at why immersive online gaming is such a huge draw, and what studios and developers are doing to meet such demands.
Online gaming is a great escape
Gaming is no longer a cult or niche hobby. If anything, it’s one of the most popular forms of escapism we have available at our fingertips. From our smartphones to our PCs and games consoles, we’ve always got opportunities to dive into RPGs, racing games, puzzles, and more. It’s a great way to step out of everyday life, if only for a few minutes at a time.
Immersive gaming doesn’t have to arrive with flashy graphics or VR functionality. Old arcade standards such as the original Pac-Man and Centipede games, for example, remain just as diverting to certain players.
The world of gaming is wide open
As technology has evolved, games have opened things up more and more to players. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a VR headset or anything flashy is attached. The concepts of ‘sandbox’ and ‘open world’ gaming have allowed players to break free from linear games to explore at their leisure.
Key examples of games that have blown immersion wide open in this way over the years include the Grand Theft Auto series, Super Mario Odyssey, the Elder Scrolls series, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and most notably, Minecraft.
Minecraft is a deceptively simple game that has no real end point in sight. You can create and build all kinds of structures, artwork and even machines inside the game’s never-ending open world. This game arguably helped to open up a world of immersion to players who may not even have realized that they wanted to experience it.
Gaming is as immersive as reading
While reading has always transported millions of people into fantasy fictional worlds, gaming has very quickly taken up the same mantle. This goes just as much for online games as it does for console titles and smartphone puzzlers.
For example, people playing real money slots online often feel like they are immersed in the action – and with well-designed slots, money doesn’t even have to come into the picture. A well-designed slot will visually delight players – especially if it has more to offer than a simple reel or two.
Ultimately, immersion has become a major expectation in gaming as we’re really spoilt for choice. It’s interesting to see how immersive even the simplest of 8-bit games can be compared to big, far-reaching open-world titles.