One of the most outstanding critiques of Blackbar and Redshift & Portalmetal is the inability to immerse oneself into the game during gameplay. Though I agree with the bulk of the critique for these games, I have two problems with this particular critique. First, immersion as a term (in reference to gaming) needs to be clarified. Second, the primary reasoning given for this lack of immersion has been the inability to identify as the main character which I plan to argue is not enough.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines immersion as “complete involvement in some interest or activity.” The lack of immersion in and of itself should not be discussed as a drawback, but instead the result of a series of drawbacks. Through our discussions, we have clearly identified one of the drawbacks leading to a lack of immersion. The inability to immerse oneself into the game has been used interchangeably with the inability to identify as the main character. However, whether or not it is necessary to identify as the character being played to feel immersed in a game is questionable. This is exemplified by games without characters. I’d argue that players of games like candy crush most definitely feel immersed in their gaming experience. I’d assert the blame should be put on the gameplay independent of the user’s experience with character.