VALHOLO
IMG_1582.JPG

MALDACENA : A Mirror For The Real

Dedicated to the progress of a holographic comic book.

A collection of posts that highlight different moments within the project. Start from day one, back in May, at the bottom of this page. Otherwise, pick at random and enjoy! Some posts include research, other posts include video footage of the project. The more recent video footage, June 16th and onward, best illustrate the project.

AUGUST-15 RESEARCH

IMMERSION AND ENGAGEMENT 

WITHIN DIGITAL HOLOGRAPHIC COMICS


ABSTRACT

This study examined immersion and engagement of sequential visual story telling (comic books) within digital holographic media utilizing the Looking Glass holographic display. The effects and usage of immersion and engagement elements were studied during the creation of the holo-comic (digital holographic comic) via the implementation of flow psychology, communication and clarity principles, commonly used by game designers and comic book creators. Being that the creation of the holo-comic took place within a physics engine (Unity game engine), it was paramount that video game immersion and engagement was a part of the research as well. Both comics and video games navigate space and time, two important attributes of immersion and engagement according to Jennett (2008). In comics, the reading process involves an important virtual component that arises from the often complex ways in which space and time is navigated by readers (Brown, 2017) and its content is diegetic in nature. In video games, the virtual component is innate, and doesn’t necessarily require the player to be present. In other words, a video games existence is both diegetic and extra-diegetic as space and time calculates, performs and pre-calculates outside of what is visible on screen. The creation of the holo-comic combines both of these virtual components, but in addition, brings it into our spatial temporal existence, thereby making the media an object in our space. This spatial temporality that the holo-comic exudes has only been researched (within comics scholarship) in reference to comic books’ physicality and the environment of the reader (Thierry Groensteen, 1999) and not in reference to the content within the comics themselves, as that content remains two dimensional on its pages. In addition, Although VR comics have been studied spatially and temporally their contents still remain contained within their own space as well , i.e. the headset. Nobody has ever created a holographic comic book until now, so the lack of research is understandable. The results from this research found that spatial temporality and other elements from the holo-comic do have an impact on immersion and engagement because of their ability to form presence, or a psychological sense of being within its virtual environment (Jennett, 2008), (Slater, 1994). 

INTRODUCTION

Immersion and engagement within any form of scholarship has been difficult to define accurately. Simply put, although these terms have a broad understanding within the gaming community and within psychology it is still not clear what is meant by immersion and engagement (Jennett, 2008). When reading through articles and journals, it was difficult to find a uniform definition for either of the two terms. Some scholars looked at immersion and engagement as being completely distinct from Flow and Presence (Jennett 2008). Others see immersion and engagement as being interchangeable with the concept of Presence (Nacke and Lindley, 2008). Regardless, it is pivotal that these terms and others, from comic book scholarship, are defined for usability and analysis. Mainly because it will give rise to a contextual edifice to which we can base the contents of the research towards.

Much of the scholarship on immersion and engagement is tied to the concept of presence, and as such, it has become the starting point for defining all terms. In no way will I be striving to find the “ideal” definitions to end all definitions, but I will try and briefly define these terms in relation to what is being examined. 

Starting with the Oxford dictionary definition, one can see how immersion or engagement could be interchangeable, in normal discussion,  with the word presence or present, especially with regards to present 1.2. But it is the ‘concept of presence’ that holds the deeper meaning.

Presence

1The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present.

1.1. count noun A person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen.

1.2. in singular A group of people, especially soldiers or police, stationed in a particular place.

1.3. The impressive manner or appearance of a person.

Origin

Middle English via Old French from Latin praesentia ‘being at hand’, from the verb praeesse.


Present

1. (predicative) In a particular place.

1.1. Existing or occurring in a place or thing.

1.2. Fully focused on or involved in what one is doing or experiencing.

2. (attributive) Existing or occurring now.

2.1. Now being considered or discussed.

2.2. Grammar (of a tense or participle) expressing an action now going on or habitually performed, or a condition now existing.

The ‘concept of presence’ is derived from the term ‘telepresence’, coined by Marvin Minsky (1980), to describe the controlling of real objects from a remote place, such as a rover on the moon being driven by someone on earth. Later, ‘presence’ was further refined by T.B. Sheridan (1992), whom refers to it as the effect felt when controlling real objects remotely in addition to the effect people feel when they interact and immerse themselves in virtual environments. Later on, Matthew Lombard and Theresa Ditton refined the definition even further (fig. 1). In short, they concluded in their research At the heart of it all: The concept of presence (1997) that it is a psychological state in which virtual objects are experienced as actual objects in either sensory or non-sensory ways (Lombard, Ditton, 1997). The most important variables that are determinants of presence are those that incorporate sensory vividness, and the number and regularity of sensory outputs (Lombard, Ditton, 1997). Those variables played a critical role in the holo-comics ability to provide a form of immersion and engagement. From all of this, and in the context of video games, the holo-comic, and the comic book medium in general, the definition, for our purposes, for presence, is as follows: Presence is a psychological state that includes virtual objects that are perceived as real objects and is most profoundly obtained through sensory vividness, depending on the amount and consistency of sensory outputs. 

Immersion

1. The action of immersing someone or something in a liquid.

1.1. Baptism by immersing a person bodily (but not necessarily completely) in water.

2. Deep mental involvement in something.

2.1. A method of teaching a foreign language by the exclusive use of that language.

3. (Astronomy) The disappearance of a celestial body in the shadow of or behind another.

Origin

Late 15th century from late Latin immersio(n-), from immergere ‘dip into’.

This Oxford dictionary definition of immersion is most accurately represented, for our analysis, by option two, i.e. Deep mental involvement in something. Although not explicitly relevant to our research, the astronomical option, three, is also relevant. This is because of the use of extra-diegetic space outside/within the holo-comic. Option two, although accurate, is superficial. In scrutinizing the word ‘involvement’ we can begin to dissect and explore immersion’s relationship to engagement, and thereby propound a more accurate version of a definition that is suitable for expressing the overall research. 

__________________

In creating the holo-comic (digital holographic comic) Maldacena: A Mirror For The Real, I examined how the addition of spatial temporality and other elements of holography effected immersion and engagement principles used during the creation and reading of the holographic comic. The majority of the results obtained were founded by comparing and contrasting ‘flow’ tactics in video games, traditional comics, e-comics and virtual reality comic books with my holo-comic. In addition, a lot of the tactics that were utilized to manifest immersion and engagement were interpreted from scholars such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Scott McCloud, Will Eisner, Marie-Laure Ryan, Mark J. Wolf, Thierry Groensteen and many more. The study of immersion and engagement within the making of the holo-comic relied on three categories of creation, the medium, the content, and the combination of the two. 

The medium highlights six defining layers that are always used by developers, artists or craftsman when creating something new. These six layers, according to Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics (1993) are as follows: 1-Idea/Purpose, 2-Form, 3-Idiom, 4-Structure, 5-Craft, 6-Surface. Every artist will follow these six steps whether they realize it or not, and the order is innate (McCloud, 1993). In utilizing those six defined layers, I was able to interpret multiple comparisons about immersion and engagement across all mediums of comics, from physical to digital. 

A lot of the critical analysis was based around the creation of the reader’s experience. I questioned how traditional techniques of communication and clarity within comic books would manifest themselves within the spatial temporal existence of holographic display. Those traditional techniques were derived from Scott McClouds book Making Comics(2006), as well as from Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and practices from the legendary cartoonist (1985). The most useful of the two in forming a structure to critically analyze the usage of those techniques, in relation to the medium, came from McCloud’s ‘Five Arena’s’ or ‘the five choices’ (2006). These choices that the artist makes assist in a comics primary goal of expressing fluid communication and clarity. The five arenas are choice of moment, choice of frame, choice of image, choice of word and choice of flow (his usage of ‘flow’ has to do with how the reader travels through the panels)(McCloud, 2006). To avoid confusion, I will address the last arena, choice of flow, as choice of fluidity. Additionally, in Making Comics, McCloud(2006) points out six transitions that are commonly used within comics which assist with focusing on particular events, and help to define mood throughout the story. 

Amidst all of these basic principles there are a plethora of minute aspects that have a large impact on the immersive and engaging qualities within the holo-comic.  For example, when analyzing flow psychology to create immersion and engagement between video games, traditional comics, e-comics and VR comics in comparison to the holo-comic an important factor

Jake AdamsComment
JUNE 26th- FOOTAGE OF THE WEEK

This is another progress documentation for Maldacena: A Mirror For The Real, the first holographic comic book.

Footage below highlights the June 30th footage of pages 9-11 in progress. The resolution was a bit off, so a lot of detail is missing unfortunately, but it is a good little run through of the particle effect progress.

Jake AdamsComment
AUGUST 1- Updated Research

Comparing Comics to digital comics and how both of those mediums and contents within acquire engagement from their readers in relation the holographic comic book.

( I don’t like talking about them separately, they are all comics to me)

_________________________________


Gartley, Elizabeth ‘Speaking language? The politics of language and power in Saga’, Studies in Comics, 8(1), pp.53-68.



1- Elizabeth Gartley notes that Will Eisner(maybe reference and note the book in notes section) “explored the special role of lettering in the comic medium, suggesting that lettering could control the ‘reader’s ear’ and provide the mood, a narrative bridge, and the implication of sound.” (Gartley, 2017, Pg. 53) 


Lettering within the medium of comics in general has always been a powerful tool in gaining the viewers attention. The ebb and flow of the intensity of lettering in particular (At this point I would point the reader to the notes section where they will learn of the source of this knowledge, Scott Mccloud: Making Comics) is especially important  for the acquisition of continuous reader engagement. (Do I really need Immersion and Engagement?) (Why not just one?) When I say intensity, I mean the pronunciation from the character to the reader, through the juxtaposition of varying styles of onomatopoeia and  normal text. It is a careful balance that the writer usually acknowledges from the beginning. This balance initiates some of the Immersive catalysts of the comic medium as a whole, and certainly applies to the holo-comic as well. (Maybe point to a Figure/image of Maldacena that includes this balance? you could even put a physical comic next to it, to prove the comparison.)


2- Further more, lettering can express what Duncan and Smith(2009) call ‘paralanguage’ “or qualities of spoken communication such as volume, emphasis and quality.”(Gartley 2017, p.53)


-In a way, Duncan and Smith are essentially saying what Eisner said years ago about lettering but taking it one step further. They focus on the accentuated factors of mood, narrative bridge, and implications of sound. 


3- “Duncan and Smith have described comic book reading as ‘an integrated perceptual experience’ which requires not only the reading of words and images, but ‘an understanding of the inter-animation of meaning between words and the pictures’ (Duncan and Smith, 2009: 154)(Gartley, 2017: p.60).


-An example of this can be found in Doom Patrol issues 42-45 By Grant Morrison and Richard Case where Charles Calder moves the team to Danny the Street, a living street that moves and thinks. Danny the street utilizes street signs, chalk, window paint and various other mediums to talk to the characters. All of this promotes the reader to find meaning between the characters and their environment. This in itself offers a major access point for a flow state to commence within the reader (make sure to define the flow philosophy before anything else). It does this through the development of curiosity, and therefore challenges the reader to think about the metaphor or general use of Danny the Street in congruence with its inhabitants.  


______________


Brown, Kieron M. ‘Virtuality and enhancement in Richard McGuire’s Here(s)’, Studies in Comics, 8(1), pp.69-82.



4- Brown claims that “The reading process of comics involves a significant virtual component, arising from the often complex ways in which readers navigate space and time.” He continues with an example… “Richard McGuire’s Here, which uses inset panels to jump between various points in time within a single space.” (Brown, 2017: p.69)


UI is definitely a big part of McGuire’s Here and has been since the beginning. (reference brown’s quote on this)… “The inspiration for the oscillating time periods was famously taken from the young Microsoft Windows GUI, then in its second incarnation, which allowed windows to overlap for the first time.” This is a fascinating inspiration for a comic book that originated in physical form, and only later became “enhanced” as a digital comic and re-released. In comparing it to its inspiration, it becomes evident that it is a “comparison  between two-dimensional space and (the illusion) of three dimensional space” (Brown 2017, p.72). In the article, Brown scrutinizes the term enhanced heavily, noting that the digital copy does not present anything that would make the work enhanced, other than the fact that it is digital, which does not qualify. With that said, as a space and time critique within the medium of comics, it offers a very unique sense of engagement. Compositionally, the reader isn’t directed in one particular way, and therefore questions the social conventions of the typical left to right read. But it remains obvious that he isn’t specifically talking about convention in the social sense, he is talking about it spatially and therefore temporally. The meaning that is derived within his compositions, although minimal, can be as complex as the reader wants them to be. His work is both personal and historical simultaneously, which requires an infinite amount of engagement. As such, this negates McClouds ideas on convention and the movement the layout should create(McCloud: Making Comics). The conventions utilized to express the story within the holo-comic are sometimes in between these paradigms, especially when the viewer gets to choose what objects they wish to interact with, while at the same time, reading dialogue and narration along a set timeline. The difference spatially, is that the holo-comic is literally in three-dimensions(4D if you want to be technical) where as Here is in three dimensions only in representation and reader engagement.


5- “The notion of a system of instructive codes that the reader must activate or execute has also been used to describe the formal apparatus of comics” (Groensteen 2007: Hatfield 2005) (Brown, 2017: p.72).


-This is extremely evident within the holo-comic as I make it so, right from the beginning. This apparatus is used many forms of literature, in fact this article uses codes to connect to references and texts that inform the reader. Within the holo-comic, I have utilized asterisks and blinking lights to indicate when something can be interacted with. Asterisks will give the reader further information about a particular term or phrase, it is strictly informative. Whereas the blinking lights indicate interaction with objects and space. This codified system that Groensteen and Hatfield refer to is also evident within ‘series’, whereby connections are made between elements and panels, thereby becoming a code in itself. Another way is through the lens of the unseen, the overlaps, the things behind what we can’t see. (maybe show an example from Here, in tangent to a holo-comic example). 




6- Brown continues by stating… “Here’s tendency to allow panels to be cut off by the page edge highlights that space and time are not restricted in virtual terms by the page’s end. Pascal Lefevre considers this ‘extradiegetic space’ (2009:160) to be a core component of the construction of space in comics.”(Brown 2017: p.75


This is something that the holo-comic does inherently and it was created to embrace ‘extradiegetic space’ as a result. It is even more of a core component than in a regular comic that just plays with space on a flat page, the holo-comic is space. (maybe put the charles bernstein quote here? talks about history and embodied space). 


7- In the ‘Enhanced version’ of Here there are moments where panels become animated. Brown agreed that these elements, although viewed as possible events that relinquish the duties of reader interpretation, they actually do the opposite, thereby remaining true to the classic medium. Brown states, “While these animations do represent a multiplication of images, which in rapid succession generate the illusion of movement, the effect they have on the reading process should be considered. I am inclined to agree with theorists such as Daniel Merlin Goodbye and Josip Batinic that readers are not relieved of their interpretive duties by this type of feature.” (Brown 2017: p.78). He goes on by saying that “the movements enacted in these instances would otherwise be, and are in the print version, implied by the static images.” 


-This of course means that McGuire has still not created an enhanced comic. Nonetheless, it does give notability to digital comics that do this, such as in VR comics, and obviously in my holo-comic. In the holo-comic there are many movements and animations that are presented directly to the reader. Being scared that I would fall into the trap of giving away to much information as Brown has stated, I created a rule for the animations… I didn’t allow the animations to surpass the ‘extradiegetic space’ unless it was upon exiting the scene. This is a very important component of creating immersion within comics as it is the life of the book itself… The in-between space of visual and narrative interpretation isn’t evident within film or animation… In those mediums it is a different type of interpretation that is created by the viewer… In other words the viewer doesn’t have to interpret in between the key frames, the key frames are filled in via the film itself. Therefore, the interpretation becomes the challenge, albeit fluid, within comics… And that challenge is what commences immersion when we compare it to Flow psychology (Csikszentmihalyi 2002).


8- Defining enhancement through the lens of ‘Progressive enhancement’ in the world of UI design. Definition by Raluca Budiu, of Nielsen Norman Group:


-“An enhancement is a feature that speeds up or enriches the interaction for some of the users, but is not essential for accomplishing a task. In other words, it’s something that some users can take advantage of, but they don’t have to and they can easily live without it.” (2016:n.pag.)(Brown 2017: p.80)


_____________________


McCloud, Scott 2006, Making Comics, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.


9- “ We want them to understand what we have to tell them— and we want them to care enough to stick around ’til we’re done.” (McCloud 2006: p.8)


McCloud uses this as a starting point in order to get across that the primary goals in creating a comic have to do with Clarity and Communication. To acquire that clarity and communication there are five arenas that writers and illustrators should address. According to McCloud the five arenas are as follows 1- Choice of moment, 2- Choice of frame, 3-Choice of image, 4- Choice of word, and finally 5- Choice of Flow (ironically) (McCloud 2006: p. 10) His version of flow has to do with the literal “flow” of the layout from left to right. In the holo-comic I make it my job to include all five arenas as well as the six panel transitions McCloud talks about. This helps with Clarity, and communication and therefore assists in immersion, as it provides a path for the reader to stay on or veer off from. (Make sure to define all of these and also compare it to flow psychology)


10- In many ways ‘Choice of moment’ is the same as deciding how to present transitions. McCloud talks about six types of transitions… “Consider what you want from each part of the story”… “Depending on your answers, you’ll find that certain types of transitions between panels may get the job done better than others”(McCloud 2006: p.15)


Those six transitions are 1- moment to moment, 2- action to action, 3- subject to subject, 4- scene to scene, 5- aspect to aspect (arguably the best for reader engagement according to McCloud) and 6- Non Sequitur. (define all and compare to flow psychology)… McCloud sees ‘Aspect to Aspect’ as extremely effective as it allows for time to stand still, and for the reader to wander and explore (McCloud 2006 p.18). I tried accomplishing all of these within the holo-comic, and as predicted aspect to aspect was effective, as reader engage with the comic, they tend to sit in these particular transition locations the longest. One instance where I do this is at the end of the comic when the reader is introduced to the world of diectionem, where bodies are disposed and incinerated within the lava, where by the steam that rises is sucked up by contraptions that transform the ectoplasm within the steam from the bodies into energy, to power a neighboring planet. The event is illustrated in panels on top of the three dimensional backdrop, or four dimensional backdrop if one is technical. By embracing this technique, it allowed for the reader to want more at the end of everything. 

Jake Adams
JUNE 16th- Button Test and First three scenes!!

This highlights the first three scenes of the holo-comic. It is also documenting the button scripting that I have implemented into my state machine. Although it isn’t completely finished, this has all the features of a comic book. After many days of research and sifting through various different mediums within the comic book industry and beyond, I can finally say that I have created the first digital holographic comic book.

Jake Adams
JUNE 11th- Video footage of page one

Below you will find video footage of the first page. The main menu is yet to be created. I am having issues with the holographic display unit that I purchased. The factory calibration is off, so I may be getting a new one shipped to me soon. Which would be nice! Hopefully they do that for me as I have been having serious Eye strain and nausea. Also, the text has been a huge struggle. I spent nine hours trying to hack the device in order to create clearer letters. I think I got it to a manageable place, and with the new device, maybe it will be even better. Regardless, I am happy with the results thus far. More updates soon!

JUNE 8th- IMMERSION RESEARCH: PART I

1. Time Loss

-This post outlines research that was done on time loss and immersion between May 1st and May 7th. Another section will be created for the additional research that wasn’t documented digitally.-

  1. Wood, Richard. "Experience of Time Loss among Videogame Players: An Empirical Study." CyberPsychology & Behavior Volume 10, Issue No. 1 (2007): Pg. 38-44. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2006.9994.

Essential Notes:

“This study examined experience of time loss among a relatively large group of gamers (n= 280). Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through an online survey. Results showed that time loss occurred irrespective of gender, age, or frequency of play, but was associated with particular structural characteristics of games such as their complexity, the presence of multi-levels, missions and/or high scores, multiplayer interactions, and plot.”

  • Results also showed both positive and negative outcomes.

    “Positive aspects of time loss included helping players to relax and temporarily escape from reality. Negative aspects included the sacrificing of other things in their lives, guilty feelings about wasted time, and social conflict.”

  • The conclusion is that positive aspects outweighed the negative ones, losing track of time is one of the main reasons gamers play.

    Further notes:

    It was found that “18% of the males in their sample were concerned about how much time they spent playing videogames compared to 3.7% of females. They also found that males were more likely to report losing track of time whilst playing videogames compared to females.”

    “|t appears that there are features of these activities that have the potential to absorb some player’s attention to the extent that their perception of time is altered.”

    “In an examination of the structural characteristics of videogames found that features such as physical feedback were not popular with either males or females. It was reported that such feedback may act as a “reality check” distracting the player from the game itself, and reminding them of their actual physical surroundings.”

    “Character customization was deemed to be an important feature of a game by most participants. Therefore, it maybe that the ability to dissociate when playing games (e.g., to forget about time) may depend upon certain characteristics of the game that allow the player to enter into a fantasy state.”

    “Almost all of the participants (280 gamers) reported that they had experienced time loss whilst playing videogames (99%), of which 17% experienced time loss occasionally, 49% frequently and 33% all the time. There were no significant gender differences.”

    “There was no significant difference in views on whether time loss was good or bad between low-frequency players (i.e., those who played 5 h or less per week), and high frequency players (i.e. those who played 15 h or more per week)”

    Testimony from a participant - “It’s good to have a break from real world time— detaching yourself from normal timegives you the opportunity to “live outside yourself” for a while. When you do come back to normal time you feel refreshed… similar to the feeling you get after meditation (male, age 23).”

    Testimony from another participant- “As long as no appointments or much needed sleep is missed then (it is) a good thing… (you can) immerse yourself in another realm (male, age 50).”

    Participants also left testimonies that stated video game play as a means to quite smoking. These participants did indeed quit smoking.

    Characteristics of games that propound time loss/immersion:

    The bullets below list characteristics and a percentage that indicates which characteristics were more prone to creating time loss than others.

  • Complexity of the game leading to immersion,-38.9%

  • Compelling goals, levels, high scores to beat,—20.7%

  • Interaction with other real players (Not AI),——- -17.1%

  • Exciting, Stimulating game,——————————-3.9%

  • Plot driven stories,——————————————-16.1%

    Further testimonies, in regards to characteristics:

    “Any absorbing game where you have “empathy” with the character. All RPGs and games like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Splinter Cell, Zelda (male age 20).”

    “Role play games (Everquest). They absorb you more and give you much more options (male 22).”

    “Puzzle games. They are much more involving and you have to think about them much harder in order to solve the puzzles (female, age 20).”

    “Involvement of the overall plot, trying trying to achieve one last goal before stopping (male age 32).”

    “Platform games, because they are very compulsive. You keep wanting to get to the next level/world etc…(female age 21).”

    “Strategy games. The need to take “just one more turn (male, age 29).”

    “The social aspect becomes a new intrigue for the gamer. Also, there is usually no defined end, so gamers can constantly continue playing and improving (male, age 16).”

    Further notes on characteristics of games:

    “Features that involved completing levels, missions, or beating personal high scores were also cited as reasons as to why time loss occurred. The temptation to play “just on more go” was reported as a major reason why gaming sessions could go on longer than intended.”

    “ ability to interact with others was another reason given for losing track of time.”

    “Players referred to both the competitive aspects of game playing (e.g., playing local area network games with friends, or online first person shooter games with people around the world). However, interaction was not just limited to competition it could also include socialising with other players, solving problems as a group, and trading virtual items particularly while playing massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs).”

    “story or plot were also reported as contributing toward the experience of time loss. Wanting to know “what happens next?” was a characteristic that kept players involved and absorbed.”

    According to the journal, having a good story invoked imagination within the player, like a good book that is hard to stop reading.

    “One participant in the present study reported that playing videogames had in fact helped her to give up smoking by helping to distract her from the nicotine cravings. This echoes previous research showing that videogames have been used successfully with children as distractors from other unpleasant physical states such as the pain experienced following chemotherapy and persistent scratching (from neurodermatitis).” 2, 3, and 4.

    Studies have also show that it helps addicts, including obsessive gamblers, by filling the void of no gambling or no drugs, like a distraction. 5.

    2. Vasterling, J., Jenkins, R.A., Tope, D.M., et al. (1993). Cognitive distraction and relaxation training for the control of side effects due to cancer chemotherapy. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 16:65-80.

    3. Pegelow, C.H. (1992). Survey of pain management therapy provided for children with sickle cell disease. Clinical pediatrics 31: 211-214.

    4. Phillips, W.R. (1991). Video game therapy. New England Journal of Medicine 325: 1056-1057.

    5. Wood, R.T.A., & Griffiths, M.D. (2007). A qualitative investigation of problem gambling as an escape-based coping strategy. Psychology and psychotherapy: Theory Research, and practice (in press).

2. Improving mental health with Interactive video game immersion

-This article “investigated the effects of an interactive sports video game (IVG; Nintendo WII Sports Resort) on frontal lobe function of patients with schizophrenia.”-

During the investigation’ “IVG intervention was associated with increased prefrontal cortex activation and improved health-related quality of life performance in patients with schizophrenia. Patients with chronic schizophrenia are characterized by withdrawl and a lack of social responsiveness or interest in others. Interventions using IVG may provide a useful low-cost rehabilitation method for such patients, without the need for specialized equipment.”

6. Shimizu N, Umemura T, Matsunaga M, Hirai T (2017) An interactive sports video game as an intervention for rehabilitation of community-living patients with schizophrenia: A controlled, single-blind, crossover study. PLoS ONE 12(11): e0187480. https:/doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187480

ESSENTIAL NOTES:

“Disorders in attention , concentration, memory, processing speed, and executive functions are among the many that strongly affect the social outcomes of schizophrenia.”

“In order to promote their social participation, there is a growing need to switch from a symptom-oriented approach to a focus on the conceptualization of treatments which support the daily functioning of service users.” i.e. video games…

In regards to video game therapy, “ one study reported an improvement in depression symptoms and cognitive function in elderly people with mild depression following 3 months of regular 35 minute sessions of Nintendo’s Wii sports games that included an exercise program.” 7.

7. Rosenberg D, Depp CA, Vahia IV, Reichstadt J, Palmer BW, Kerr J, et al. Exergames for subsyndromal depression in older adults: a pilot study of a novel intervention. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010; 18 (3):221-226. https://doi.org/10.1097/jgp.0b0133181c534b5 PMID: 20173423

Further notes and conclusions:

This investigation revealed three key findings.

  • “There were improvements in three HRQOL items (BP, SF, and RE) following intervention.”

  • We found an intervention-related increase in DLPFC activation.”

  • There was increased activation in cerebral neural networks related to dysfunction in schizophrenia.

3. Training Emotional Regulation and Impulsivity through VG immersion

- This article examines how video game immersion improves emotional regulation and impulsivity in individuals with gambling disorders. They utilize the PlayMancer platform. A video game that reacts to your heart rate, blood pressure and sweat.

8. Tarrega S, Castro-Carreras L, Fernandez-Aranda F, Granero R, Giner-Bartolome C, Aymami N, Gomez-Pena M, Santamaria JJ, Forcano L, Steward T, Menchon JM and Jimenez-Murcia S (2015) A serious Videogame as an additional Therapy Tool For Training Emotional Regulation and Impulsivity Control in Severe Gambling Disorder. Front. Psychol. 6:1721. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.201501721

“ Gambling disorder (GD) is characterized by a significant lack of self control and is associated with impulsivity related personality traits. It is also linked to deficits in emotional regulation and frequently co-occurs with anxiety and depression symptoms.” Immersion and flow psychology via specific video games that have characteristics such as PlayMancer are able to improve these disorders.

Essential results:

“ After the intervention, significant changes were observed in several measures of impulsivity, anger expression and other psychopathological symptoms. Dropout and relapse rates during treatment were similar to those described in the literature for CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy).”

“Complementing CBT interventions for GD with a specific therapy approach like a serious video game might be helpful in addressing certain underlying factors which are usually difficult to change, including impulsivity and anger expression.”

“There is evidence of GD possessing similarities with substance use disorders in terms of etiology, phenomenology, neurobiological mechanisms and response to treatment (grant 9, 10).”

9. Grant, J.E, and Potenza, M.N. (2007). Commentary: illegal behavior and pathological gambling. J. am. Acad. Psychiatry Law 35, 302-305. PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&cmd=show DetailView&TermToSearch=17872549)

10. Grant, J.E., Schreiber, L.R.N, and Odlaug, B.L. (2013). Phenomenology and Treatment of Behavioral Addictions. Can J. Psychiatry 58, 252-259. PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=23756285)

4. Enhancement of perception due to video game immersion

-In this study there is an improvement of perception and learning abilities. It also takes in account that within deep immersion, ones dopamine levels rise.

11. Zhang Y-X, Tang D-L, Moore DR and Amitay S (2017) Supramodal Enhancement of Auditory Perceptual and Cognitive Learning by Video Game Playing. Front, Psychol 8:1086. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01086

“Playing fast action video games (with audio effects) has been shown to improve a wide range of visual perception and attention skills (green, and bavelier, 12, 13).”

“In one notable exception, we previously reported that playing Tetris, a popular arcade type video game involving fast visual motor control, improved auditory Perception (Amitay et al., 14).”

“Playing video games, even the arcade style ones, can lead to release of reward signals such as dopamine (Koepp et al., 15), which promotes synaptic plasticity (Buchanan, 16) and contributes to experience-dependent learning (Harley, 17).”

12. Green, C. S., and Bavelier, D. (2003), Action video game modifies visual selective attention. Nature 423, 534-537. doi: 10.1038/nature01647

13. Green, C. S., and Bavelier, D. (2012), Learning, attentional control, and action video games. Curr.Biol. 22, R197-R206. doi: 110.1016/j.cub.2012.02.012

14. Amitay, S., Irwin, A., and Moore, D. R. (2006). Discrimination learning induced by training with identical stimuli. Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1446-1448. doi: 10.1038/nn1787

15. Koepp, M. J., Gunn, R. N., Lawrence, A. D., Cunningham, V. J., Dagher, A., Jones, T., et al. (1998). Evidence for striatal dopamine release during a video game. Nature 393, 266-268. doi: 10.1038/30498

16. Buchanan, K. A., Petrovic, M. M., Chamberlain, S. E., Marrion, N.V., and Mellor, J.R.(2010). Facilitation of long term potentiation by muscarinic M receptors is mediated by inhibition of SK channels. Neuron 68, 948-963. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.11.018

17. Harley, C. W. (2004). Norepinephirine and dopamine as learning signals. Neural Plast. 11, 191-204. doi: 10.115/NP.2004.191

JUNE 7th- GAME RESEARCH: PART I

Below is a list of games that I studied in order to get a good idea of immersion tactics that are utilized on multiple platforms. The purpose of this research is to find and apply video game immersion aspects to holographic display interactivity, i.e. my holo-comic. I studied and played over 100 games. The platforms that were utilized included Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, mobile Iphone apps, Playstation 1 & 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PC, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Gamboy advanced and Nintendo Switch. From these platforms and the one hundred games, I selected items that ranged from self-proclaimed minor immersion ratings of 1 to major immersion ratings of 10. I left out games from this post that were completely non-immersive, which I didn’t think was possible, but it is. The games are in no particular order.

GAME RESEARCH:

  1. MERCENARY SAGA-

    The fact that inventory and strategic skill is taken into effect is by far the most immersive aspect of this game. Not only that, but the story is fun to read and quite engaging on its own. The narrative is a bit too slow but it is steady and fairly climatic. Customization of the characters, and the addition of more characters joining your squadron is a major plus when it comes to immersion as well. The characters class can be upgraded, which offers new skills and the equipment and accessories are also available for upgrade as you progress and earn gold. The sound is despicable however, which doesn’t help with engagement. Strategy, customization, narrative and variation give this game an immersion rating of 6.5.

  2. WITCHER

    This game is made for immersion. The story line is vast and non-linear, which I find to be one of the most valuable ways to produce immersion. With that said, there is still an overarching narrative that displaces the open map non-linear “sub-missions”. This is good, because it ties everything together. The characters are conceptually strong and a history is found within their guise before you learn about them. My only critique is the unnecessary usage of erotic tangents that play a role in the narrative. They are completely unnecessary but perhaps that is a selling tactic for them. I found the graphics to be great, although I don’t think that should be the main focus for a study on immersion. Nonetheless, it certainly helps that the visuals are stunning. The villains and mythological creatures that were made for the game are also impeccable and needed for the type of immersion they created. In this way, one might concluded that there are many different genres of immersion, something I will definitely touch on within my paper. My interest did not last as long as I thought it would however, It just felt like a weak but different version of Skyrim. With the open world narrative, the impeccable visuals, the deep connection to the characters and customizations I give this game an immersion rating of 7.

  3. FINAL FANTASY III

    The game that started the RPG movement. A fantastic and colorful place to play, with a decent amount of customization for its time. Weapons, magic and everything that comes with it, are great features for a game of its time. Unfortunately, as I traversed the land, I found myself constantly in battle, to the point of annoyance. I need less monster battles, it was way to repetitive and there wasn’t enough variety in general, which is understandable given the technology at the time. But I am not rating time, and I won’t give any game the benefit of the doubt. Although revolutionary and somewhat fun, I have sadly given FFIII an immersion rating of 4.

  4. CHRONOTRIGGER

    Much like FFIII, it is an RPG and is innovative. There are less battles and a bit more variance in dialogue making it a lot more pleasant and less annoying than FFIII. It is a fairly open world, but with cute shops and circus missions. The mechanics play a big role in the immersion as well, as they are smooth and fun. The inventory, customization and collection aspects are also engaging. Game play didn’t last long however, as I eventually became bored. Immersion rating of 5.

  5. ROBOTRON

    Although the game is simple, the shooting mechanics are intuitive, and fun. At first, it seems to lack variety and strategy, but that changes as one progresses. The most satisfaction comes from the shooting up, down, right, left and being chased, which is an immersion tactic I underestimated until playing this game. Being chased truly plays a powerful role in engagement. The differing robots are also entertaining. Lots of control in movement, despite the crude nature of the old technology never got old. Robotron received an immersion rating of 6.5.

  6. JOUST

    This game is not easy. Which immediately makes you want to turn the console off, but I gave it a chance. Timing, a tactic I also overlooked in regards to engagement, is crucial. The placement of your attack is therefore even more crucial. This level of difficulty, straight away, Has deterred me greatly. Although I am obsessed with challenges, I despise challenges that don’t give me a chance due to crap mechanics. If Robotron can make good mechanics for its time than certainly joust could have done the same. It is disappointing. I gave this an immersion rating of 1.5. Sorry Joust lovers….

  7. SINI STAR

    Thrilling Asteroids-like game. Difficult but offers enough control to be fun unlike Joust. Shooting is nice. Vacuum of space movement is on point. With that said, it lacks dimension in many ways. Also, more variety in the game play and narrative would have been nice. Elements of engagement include the game mechanics, a good balance of control and no control, and the characters, unlike the narrative and general game play had a good amount of variety. Strategy also played a roll but it was limited by means of chance. Also, I wish the collectibles were larger, I got confused many times. The audio is fun too, corny but entertaining. The Boss is AWESOME though! I give this an immersion rating of 4.5.

  8. PAC-ATTACK

    Essentially, it is Tetris with Pac-man. Fun but simple, it is best played with two players for a better and more immersive experience. The fact that it is only engaging with others has lowered its immersion rating. Nonetheless, time, Strategy, and general quick wit is what gives this game a 4 on the immersion rank.

  9. BAMBUZAL

    A game where you trigger bombs to strategically move to a location. Apparently you are able to move bombs but I was unable to figure it out. Overall it isn’t user friendly. The variety amidst the levels is cool though and definitely engaging when paired with the funny character. The strategy is nice but it is practically impossible to conquer. Immersion rating = 1.

  10. BATTLE TOAD and DOUBLE DRAGON

    Great mechanics but can be tedious. Regardless, it is easy to jump right in and start gaining victories. The boxes one picks up along the game play offer great variety and the level is always changing, which is surprising. However, it is lacking a bit of repetition to keep things grounded. Immersion rating of 2 is granted.

  11. BS KAIZOU CHOUJIN SHUB

    Very fun 2D shooter. It is a street fighter style platformer but with more of a cartoon graphic. Tons of items to grab which is awesome and keeps things intriguing. Also the narrative is extremely visual and adds a great level of appeal and engagement. An immersion rating of 5 is appropriate.

  12. CONTRA III

    Essentially Contra III is almost exactly like BS KAIZOU. I grant it the same rating of 5.

  13. AKANOID

    This game is so unexpectedly amazing!! It is so simple, yet it offers a proper amount of variety with the weapons you are able to gain throughout it. Essentially you are just knocking blocks out and avoiding aliens and wizards by scrolling back and forth. As the game progresses things get harder but more interesting and increasingly strategic. It can be played with two people, but it isn’t needed. The immersion factor is just as grand if you are competing against your own score. So much fun and somehow they placed a narrative into it. The audio isn’t too bad either. Love it! Immersion rating is definitely at a 7.

  14. DESERT STRIKE RETURN…

    Nice story. Great flight mechanics for the period. The game mechanics made this game extra engaging, as they are surprisingly good. Never thought I would say this about a game, but the pause menu is really well done and actually fun to be in as it has elaborate maps and strange status menus to play with. In addition, and innovative for the period, they went all out on the HUD, making it fun to look at but cohesive to the game, complete with fuel and armor ratings, but it is only visible in the pause menu which is unfortunate. I give this one a rating of 5.

  15. ZELDA BREATH OF THE WILD

    If you haven’t played this, you got some work to do brothers/sisters. The aesthetics of the game are simple yet thrilling. They went very deep into textures to make up for excess mesh and collider items. The mechanics are astounding as well, Multiple actions per button given the situation is extremely intuitive and smooth. The character is easy to control and vaillains are difficult but manageable most of the time. As you progress the villains progress too. Teleportation is inventive and precise. The FPS is super smooth and the story is engaging albeit vast and sometimes tedious. It definitely belongs to open world immersion. In this world, you are in total control most of the time, which allows you to be completely encased within the character. A form of personal dissociation occurs after about an hour of play, and you don’t feel like you wasted too much time playing it, as there are many puzzles and mind games that challenge your wit and cunning. Something about this game is very human as well… Which I have never experienced before. Perhaps its the story or the fact that your character gets cold and or hot in certain situations, forcing you to change his clothing? Another reason could be that he is capable of getting struck by lightning, and you are practically forced to find refuge and create a fire in order to sleep at night, other wise you are overtaken and outnumbered by monsters, as that’s when they are most active. This Zelda series is super psychological in this regard, which begs the question, is this yet another new genre of immersion? There is a plethora of tools to make, things to find, things to eat, and things to play with. The level of variation among villains is vast which definitely prevents boredom. Another aspect of the game that separates it from other open world games and the Zelda’s before it are the intricate shrines. These shrines are super puzzles that one has to figure out and in doing so, you are actually training yourself. The game trains you and teaches you, which adds to the psychological attachment to the character immensely. This game has mastered self projection like nothing before it, and not much can beat it at the moment. The sound is great too, I love the different music that goes from high to low, and the simple interaction audio is stunning. Plus you can glide off giant towers, amazing!!! The immersion is placed at 9.5.

  16. FORTNITE

    Great open world mash up of mine craft and Unreal tournament. I was engaged, as I was able to make cool buildings, traps, and other items, but It isn’t really as good as everyone says. It can be fun with friends but there isn’t much other than building and fighting. With that said, the strategy aspect is huge which makes it super fun… I kind of wish that I was in control of more people though for some reason. It lacks the feel of battle, which is what I expect from these games. Immersion rating 7.

  17. VR MINE CRAFT

    It is just like mine craft on the pc or on your switch, but its worse. Mainly due to it being a prototype. You get sick after 20 minutes and have to take the head set off… Immersion =2.

  18. MINE CRAFT

    Amazing game. It should not be in VR unless its on the quest, that I will accept. Everyone knows this game, There is so much variety, and you can do pretty much everything. A true connection forms with the player as well, due to the fact that you are literally creating and living with him. Psychological aspects are also prominent in this game. One must feed his or her character and make sure not to get to damaged to prevent respawn. Although this may be fixed in settings, I truly hate how the days are so short. Much like Zelda, the monsters are more prominent at night and it gets frustrating sometimes. Nonetheless, it is a classic and a truly immersive game given its open world and blocky aesthetic. The sound is terrible, but fits the style. I give this one an immersion rating of 7.5.

  19. SUPERHOT

    SOO MUCH FUNNN!!! The immersion qualities found in this piece stem from many factors. Most of all, they come from time. Time moves only when you move in this game, which is revolutionary. There is deep satisfaction in the shattering of opponents as well, something about the glass sound that is really enticing. Another thing, who doesn’t love the color red, all great and horrible things come from red. It is the ideal aesthetic for the game. I found that the levels, although sometimes small, they were perfect in every regard, being both minimal and complex in all the right places. A good variety of weapons and game mechanics also makes for fantastic engagement. I rate this one at 7.5 because eventually it just gets old.

  20. THE GRAND THEFT AUTO SERIES

    I know I probably shouldn’t pile them all together like this, but they all stem from the same premise. Gang bangers, criminals, mafia, and dirty individuals. This series is impeccable. The scum of the earth coming to power is a beautiful thing. Shooting humans is unfortunately also very satisfying. This terrible deed is in itself is a deep psychological engagement. Plus you have the power to create any act of crime that you want within an open realm of city frolic. An unfettered immersion to a world of sin never felt so nice, but it does get old… I stopped playing them after Grand theft auto 3. But I did try all the rest, nothing really changed, its all the same. Oh well. I give this innovative series an immersion rating of 7.

  21. ROCKET LEAGUE

    This may be subjective, but I am obsessed with this one. Wait, it is always subjective, never mind. You haven’t lived until you have played this game. Soccer (football…) is great and kind of fun but when you play as a car that has nitro and can do back flips and fly around with the nitro if strategically done correctly, holy macaroni!!! To top it off you are playing against the world and can form your own team, I love it. It has many different types of game play…. Chaos= 4 vs 4, standard 3 vs 3 or 2 vs 2 or 1 vs 1. Perhaps the most engaging part of this game is that you can always get better. And for the first time in video game history, flying with cars has become an art form. No other game has done such a ridiculous but beautiful thing. Much like Zelda, the game is training you in an indirect way, but without the open world… Now an open world rocket league? Interesting thought. Suffice it to say, with customization, impeccable game mechanics, a community to back it up, and flying soccer cars, who wouldn’t love this! Immersion rating of 9.5.

  22. SKYRIM

    Yet another open world immersive experience. Maybe I am biased, but this is one of the best, but when Zelda Breath of the wild came out, it went down on my list in regards to open world genre. The old world aesthetic, coupled with strange races of reptile humans and elves one truly gets lost in the vast plenum of the world that is Skyrim. Much like these other open worlds you are training yourself and you level up constantly. Strategy comes with these power ups though which makes it that much more engaging. Dragons and witches, dungeons and castles, all play a role in defining the character, and the first person view is the best way to play, as you really feel like you are in the game. It is a love of mine, and It truly is one of the best. Also the audio is fantastic! Every shoreline and cliff gives off their own unique frequency. I give it a 9 on the immersion scale.

  23. MARIO KART SERIES

    Once again, I probably shouldn’t bunch them together, but I have played them all. I can truly say that each one is immersive in equal measure, as each game was uniquely different from the other but kept a similar aesthetic throughout its history. With the advent of Mario Kart 8 the game has changed a bit. Many aspects of other games are finding their way more and more into the Mario universe which keeps things interesting. The plethora of levels, and the remastering of them also kept things varied and unique, adding on to the engagement that much more. Nowadays, you can customize your cart as well as play as baby Luigi and others. What makes them fall short is that they are way more fun with multiplayer. I average all these classics at a 7.5 on the immersion scale. A classic beauty that never dies.

  24. THE SUPER MARIO SERIES

    Ever since I was a nine year old playing on the first Nintendo and gray brick game boy, super Mario was always the best game. From first to last, much like Mario kart, they kept the same premise throughout the series but added on to it each time, making it more complex and more strategic. Eventually the more open world based Super Mario came into being, which really took it to a whole new level. I will always love this classic, due to its consistent aesthetic, its iconic characters, its amazing game mechanics, and creative adventure. Narrative was always a key with this game too. Don’t forget the coin collection sound too, and the wild mushroom growth sound, amazing and entrancing. I give this series an 8 on the immersion graph.

  25. MADEFIRE COMICS WITH OCULUS GO

    These are some of the first VR comics on the market. It is also a platform that allows you to make your own comics, but I will never use it as that is not the future. Who the hell wants to wear a brick on their face? Well I did, and this is what I found when it came to immersive comics: It is really fun and fairly interactive, but not as interactive as it could be. There are moments however, that give pause, and pull one away from the illusion of self dissociation. This occured when pages or scenes switched. The music would stop sharply, then start back up. And sometimes the fade to black then into the scene was super crude and all around unnecessary. Just switch out the characters and panels for Christ sake!! No need to be so drastic! The flow was lost many times throughout the experience, and this happened with many of the comics or motion books as they call them. So I can firmly give this “new genre” a 4 on the immersion scale.

  26. BATMAN REVENGE OF THE JOKER

    Typical streetfighter platform game with great colorful moody graphics. There is definitely a fun weapon variation as well. It can be hard to get around the levels sometimes, as some of the mechanics fall short, and or don’t work when you want them too. The shooting is strange but manageable. The fighting/close combat is in need of some variation, it is very basic, only allowing one kick and one punch/weapon shoot at a time. I would give this an immersion rating of 5.

  27. METROID

    A lot more immersive than expected. Game play is very smooth and there is a ton of variation in regards to combat, villains, challenges, and the level itself. The sounds are also quite variable, and you can tell they concentrated on the interactive noises a lot. They definitely nailed it, superior quality in audio and aesthetic. There is a bit of an open world within this platform as well, which was unexpected. A low level narrative accompanies the game too which adds to immersion. I would say the top aspects for engagement are sound, combat variation, body manipulation, and the slight open world aspect. I give it a 6 for immersion.

  28. KIDICARUS

    The simple act of flying, who would of thought it would be so powerful, and engaging. The platform itself, although simple in character, graphics and interaction, it brings you from small to large spaces with minor but important changes in colors and scenery. Sometimes the stars were yellow, pink, or green, which added a bit of curiosity to the overall game. These little changes and the diverse monsters that one comes across, actually make the game quite immersive. I give it a 6 on the scale.

  29. DEFENDER I & II

    Both are fun but not a lot of control in regards to game mechanics. The ship is virtually un-driveable. You can hardly see what you need to do as well, which definitely makes it less fun. Also, picking up items is difficult, and adds to stress and therefore kicks you out of self dissociation/immersion. I give it a 2.

  30. BLUES BROTHERS

    Audio is astounding!! Love the music and love the sound interactions. Extremely fun-kind of like Rayman but you have to have two players to play, otherwise it isn’t as fun and immersive. The fact that you can ride on your Elwood or Jake’s back is hilarious. 2D scroll platform that kicks ass and makes you laugh. Main points of immersion are found within the colors, the sound, the map variation, the villain variation, and the strange but fun game mechanics. I can easily give this a six on the immersion graph.

  31. CACOMA KNIGHT IN BIZLAND

    Putrid mechanics. Disgraceful. Don’t know where to start in the game, but it does have some lure to it with its aesthetic. But, like I said, garbage player control!! I give this crap a 1, even though I probably shouldn’t.

  32. BIOMETAL

    Basically, it is a better version of asteroids and defender. Insanely good handling. Tons of different weapons to collect and super fast paced. This game stands out as it is the only game besides sonic and a couple others that engage you when the character is moving so quick. Sometimes the pace gets annoying, but I find that to be true in all fast paced games. Dying is common in this game, so one should embrace the ephemeral nature of it. It isn’t easy, but its fun to see how far one can get. The sound, the colors and the simple variance in villains and levels, give this game a high rating. I give this beauty a 6 for great, simple fast paced immersion.

  33. BUBSY II

    Much like Super Mario but a bit more fast pace. The character handles very well and the colors along with the general style are lovely. Amazingly fun character with varying levels. Egyptian robots are a plus. One thing that makes it challenging but strategic, is that you can only kill by jumping. This has an immersion rating of 4.5.

  34. ASPHALT 8 (IOS)

    When it comes to fast pace, Asphalt knocks it out of the park. This game is quicker than most games, including sonic. It is a realistic mobile racing game, at one point I was among the top 50 racers. I was truly obsessed with it. Now I don’t touch it, because I am scared of it, too addicting, like Rocket League. Immersion is created due to car customization, level ups, large selection of maps, a large community of opponents, and tons of nitro. Plus you drive real vehicles and real places which brings it back to real life a little bit, and as such, adds to the engagement psychologically. I have a lot to say about this one, but I will keep it short. I will add this however… The audio is fantastic! Whomever seeked out all those engine sounds and engine variations are a god. Enough has been said, I give it an 8.

  35. 8 BALL POOL (IOS)

    Believe it or not, a bit of pool can be very immersive if one plays against the world. This app offers plenty of training and offline practice as well. The online community is huge, and it genuinely takes a large amount of skill, strategy and a nice pool stick to rise in the ranks. Like every other app they offer in app purchases, but, like Asphalt 8, they are unnecessary if you have patience. The top down realistic nature, coupled with strategy and skill give this game a 6 on the charts.

  36. VIREXIAN (IOS)

    A fast paced shoot em up alien space war inside of a strange place with living glowing bricks. It is marvelous. The game is well crafted, and the shooting variation among the weapons is superior to most mobile shooters. The top down nature of it brings you out of it a bit and that leads to a less engaging experience, but its beautifully crafted, and the fluctuating lights and colors really garner your attention. I give it a 5 on the graph.

  37. EUCLIDEAN LAND (IOS)

    A puzzle game where you have to warp the geometry so that you can conquer the area without being slaughtered. It is a grid system, and has the same aesthetics as Monument Valley. It is a great strategy game and I highly recommend it. The strategy keeps it engaging, and the variation of the levels and villains keep it entertaining. It falls short though when it comes to audio and for some reason that had a big impact for me. I give it a 3.

  38. SMASH HIT (IOS)

    A very simple set up and over all aesthetic. You aggregate balls by consistently attacking glass pyramids and diamonds. It goes on forever, I am unsure of if it has an ending. The sweet sound of glass breaking once again keeps me in love with it. I have played it on and off for six years now. I give it an immersion factor of 7.

  39. GRANNY (IOS)

    It is surprisingly scary. You have to escape a crazy bald grandmas house before she kills you, but you have to be extremely quiet. This horror brings out immersion in the most psychological way. The villain is truly terrifying, and her screech is just as creepy. If she hears you moving too much, she comes and kills you. But there are places to hide and puzzles to master in order to get out. Immersion level is a 6 but it gets old.

  40. HIGHWAY (IOS)

    Another fast paced game. You have to collect coins on an 8 bit motorcycle while avoiding traffic and going off jumps. It i simple and fast. Immersion rating is a 4.

  41. PINBALL ARCADE (IOS)

    Awesome and realistic pinball arcade on your phone or tablet. Play classic pinball games from the beginning of the arcade era. The variety of games to download are vast, which makes it innately immersive. Some games are more engaging then others, such as Twilight Zone. Overall, the graphics, the sounds from the original machines, and the choice of player views, makes it super engaging. I give this one a 7 on the immersion scale, I have been playing it for about seven years now.

  42. AUTUMN DYNASTY WARLORDS (IOS)

    This is one of my favorites. It involves an immense amount of strategy and skill. You are in command of an army and are trying to make allies or destroy and conquer territory. It is your decision. the immersive elements occur when you go onto the battlefield and you are given ways to fight. You produce your own soldiers and general infantry via the building of buildings and factories. I love making worlds and conquering them, this one lets you play omnipotent on your phone. A true saving grace when I was bored or depressed. I give this one an easy 8 for immersion because of its consistent aesthetic, tons of variation within the armies, and the strategic kill or be killed ideal.

  43. ZOMBIE HIGHWAYS (IOS)

    You simply get in a car and drive, while trying to fight off zombies that try and tip your car with their weight. The idea is to traverse difficult areas and preserve ammo. You are always trying to beat your last distance. It is fun and strategic, I give it a 4.5.

  44. FTL (IOS)

    A classic game that was brought to mobile devices a few years ago. This gorgeous strategy game is simply breathtaking. It is a top down and a platform all at once. Highly strategic, with characters that have different abilities. You must traverse the galaxy and perform missions while upgrading your ship. I give it an 8 easily. It is one of the best.

  45. GALAXY ON FIRE (IOS)

    Much like FTL it has strategy, but there is more of a narrative and the aesthetic is different. Plus you are in control of your ship. The audio, strategic elements, massive map, and general aura of space allow this game to be highly immersive. An 8 is a worthy number for this one.

  46. BIO SHOCK SERIES

    I know it isn’t fair to bunch these together, but they run off the same format. A gorgeous open world, either in the sky, on land, or under the sea. With the steam punk aesthetic, the impeccable game mechanics, it is hard to go wrong. I spent hours on this series. The graphics along with the narrative are truly breathtaking. Each boss you face is cooler than the last as well, and the disturbing, sometimes personal, sometimes political aspects of the motif are inspiring. Truly a magnificent series. I give it an easy 9 on the scale.

  47. FALL OUT SERIES

    Much like Bioshock. You can’t go wrong. Placed in post-apocalyptic cities, with deformed monsters in a radiation waste land. Variation of guns, narrative, monsters, and an open world place this series very high when it comes to immersion ranking. This game also plays with the first person perspective much like Bioshock and Skyrim, which adds to the self dissociation that is often coupled with flow psychology. Not only that but one develops a personal connection to the characters within all these games. I give this series a 9 as well.

  48. STAR SOLDIER

    Back to the classics. Flying around in a simple space ship never felt so nice. Simple graphics, but fairly fast pace. The audio isn’t too abrasive either and the explosions are enticing. Much of the mechanics are smooth as well. And the bosses look like busts from greek sculpture. Gorgeous simple and immersive due to the diversity of villains, landscape, speed variation, and power ups. I give this bad boy a 7 on the immersion scale.

  49. ADVENTURES OF LOLO

    Terrible game mechanics and control. It is deceitful. I had no idea as to what I had to do from the start of the game. There is a funny looking snail character though. All around crap game. I give it a 1.

  50. NINJA

    Thrilling mechanics and unexpected fun as you get to hang on to walls, which is extremely innovative for the period. Fighting my way through bad guys, exploring the scroll platform city, and collecting items along the way gave rise to good engagement. I give it a 5.5.

  51. PUNCH OUT

    Rudimentary but fun and humorous. It is certainly somewhat immersive, but I can see potential for it getting old as there is a lack of visual and audio variation. But the darn game is fun from the start. I give it a 5 on the graph.

  52. STARTROPICS

    Just because I think its funny, I included this trash game. I was unable to get past the main menu, I have never had this happen before haha… I give it a 0 for immersion.

  53. BLAST MASTER

    Not too bad, but not that immersive. The game play isn’t very good, and I don’t like that the visuals aren’t very descriptive of what’s dangerous and what isn’t. This in effect is crucial for any game, and I am unsure as to why they would create it this way. I give it a 1.

  54. DRX MARIO

    Essentially, it is a funny version of Tetris that uses pharmacological goods instead of colored blocks. It may have caused an addiction crisis but we will ignore that… Super fun, but lacks variation. I give it a 3.

  55. KIRBY’S ADVENTURES

    Great as expected and immersive due to level variety mixed with enough consistency and a clear end game. Bosses are fun, along with the colors and sound. The mechanics are simple, yet intuitive. Although the level of strategy is low. It still gives it a bump for immersion. Therefore I gave little pink Kirby a 5.

  56. GHOSTS n’ GOBLINS

    Probably one of the most entertaining NES games I have ever played. Super fun and somewhat simple. Basically you are in a spooky mansion/mountain and you have three hits, one hit strips you to underpants, the next strips you to bone and the third kills you. It is immersive due to the humor aspect, the large amount of variation in the characters and the level. Other aspects that increase engagement have to do with the fantastic color scheme, smooth mechanics and strategic elements. I give this an immersion factor of 6.5.

  57. NBA JAM

    One of my favorites to play at parties. You pick real life characters from your favorite basketball team and play against an opponent of your choosing. The game mechanics are actually simple and very innovative for its time. By far one of the simplest but best basket ball games ever created. The immersive elements come from the real life players and teams, the fun and competitive nature of the game, and the beautiful NBA aesthetic. I gave this one a 5.5, as it is a classic.

  58. TONY HAWK PRO-SKATER SERIES

    Once again, I probably shouldn’t create a group of them but in a way it is necessary and it makes sense. This run of games has a huge history and I played it for hours as a kid. When you play any of the games there is a perception of infinite tricks and variants. The special command is also pretty cool, as it is something to look forward to within the game. By far some of the most superior game mechanics for any of their times, and the character animation is impeccable. Each character is a real skater and each level is a real place, which adds to the engagement. As a childhood classic through and through, I give this series an easy 8.

  59. DOOM

    So enthralling. This game created a first person revolution. It never got old. The basic graphics are just enough to play with, and the grotesque creatures you come across make shooting that much more fun. The audio in itself is quite engrossing, given the strange sounds they had to master. A true classic once again. I give this guy a 7.

  60. METAL GEAR SOLID

    A sneaky and strategic third person shooter that never got old. Immersion comes from the story, the mechanics, the levels, and strange secrets you feel like you are learning that aren’t really there. The immersion factor on this one came at a number of 7.

  61. TEKKEN 3

    Another timeless classic. So many characters to choose from. The immersion comes from the varying levels, and the fact that you can fall off of some of them. It also stems from the great game mechanics during combat, and the wild specials that are individual to each fighter. Tekken was another love of mine for a long time. I give it a 6.

  62. CRASH BANDICOUT

    A wild runner with beautiful coin and item collection. The beauty of the game is that you had to think fast and run faster. Each level was consistent from the last but offered immense amounts of variation as you traversed through its jungle. The audio for water and trees came out great, and the character is so strange. A fox thing wearing pants? love it. The immersion factor came out to 5 as these games tend to get old for me.

  63. GRAND TURISMO 2

    Not only this game, but the entire series was quite nice. A lot of it was focused on realism from the cars to the courses. They even got the sound down for each car much like Asphalt 8. I give not only this game but the entire series an average of 6.5.

  64. TWISTED METAL 2

    One of my favorites on Playstation. This game utilized chaos in a very unique way, and it transformed the notion of car derby. Each character was a reaper of death and I loved the clown car! So many explosions, variations in weapons, and aesthetic. The levels were individual open maps that you could traverse too. This in itself helped add the immersion factor up to 7.5.

  65. STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 3

    Capcom out did themselves on this one. They took the original Street fighter series and made it ten times better, from the narrative to the game play. Even the aesthetic was altered a bit and gave rise to a plethora of variation amidst the game level. Truly hypnotic. I give it a 6 for immersion.

  66. TOMB RAIDER

    We all remember Lara. The game itself is both a puzzle and a shooter, and that is what makes it engaging. Each place went to gave rise to new miniature missions or hidden items. The game mechanics were quite smooth at the time as well. There is a bit of variation in the game play as well, from climbing, to jumping, etc… I will give this classic a 5.5.

  67. NEED FOR SPEED HOT PURSUIT

    This was the beginning of a new era for Need For Speed. The game didn’t have as much customization or general variety in the last game (payback). This one took care of that. A marvelous racer that focused on getting chased by cops and earning big bucks. The Tokyo course is still the best. The immersion factor landed at 6 due to the increase in variance, the fast pace nature, and the general customization that was involved during a fairly good narrative.

  68. ROOMS SERIES (IOS)

    This strategic puzzler was enchanting. Each time I thought I had solved something, I definitely did not. The graphics are so beautiful! The weird underlying narrative that ties everything together is just as gorgeous! Not to mention, Each room had its own unique conceptual design, and the amount of strategy that it takes to solve these puzzles really sucks you in. I’ll give Rooms a 7 easily.

  69. STREETS OF RAGE

    Much like Street Fighter, the immersion comes from progress and the pursuit of clearing stages before the given time runs out. The characters that you get to choose are well crafted, and for a 2D platformer its impressive. The levels themselves vary as well, which assists in engagement. I Would rate this one as a 6.

  70. VECTOR MAN

    This game had beautiful graphics for Sega Genesis. The handling was super smooth too, which coincided well with the humorous aura of blob like body. As you progress the monsters get harder and become more robotic. The variation of monsters is perfect and the level is gorgeous. But it never ends, and there are many levels to it that you could fall on to. The combat , the colors, the variation and the humorous protagonist added up to an immersion score of 5.5.

  71. PHANTASY STAR II

    The narrative is kind of good, and the colors are vibrant and moody throughout the game. This makes it more entrancing than it really is. There was too much dialogue straight away, and you had no control of the character, you just kept pressing one button. This was slightly immersive but mostly not. I give it a 2.5.

  72. COMIX ZONE

    By Far my favorite Sega Genesis game. The premise is intriguing and the overall narrative is both semi-non linear. Due to the level taking place inside of a comic book, the main character can jump to any panels that are connected to the panel he is in. Throughout the fighting and searching for exits to other panels of the comic, you have a dialogue with both the environment and the villains you are attacking. The person on his radio chimes in at particularly dangerous points in the game which enhances the engagement due to it following you. The colors, Sound, and overall aesthetic immerses you as well. each panel is its own composition that you are in charge of. Highly innovative for the period in game mechanics and interactivity. I give Comix Zone an 8.

MAY 27th- Video footage, testing LG

This is footage taken with the looking glass displaying a model of my main character, Maldacena. I also integrated the Leap Motion controller. It all looks well in person, But the footage may make it look worse.

Jake Adams
MAY 26th- Scenes and sections

Here are a collection of scenes and sections of scenes. These drawings will be used in the comic book. Drawn with graphite, they will be layered on top of each other, in a cutout aesthetic.

MAY 14th- Story Board

Here is the first draft of the story board. It has led to some changes in the over all plan for my dissertation. Instead of time loss, I am going to focus mainly on immersion and from that, the spiritual within a digital creation. Obviously the dissertation will also be a research about design challenges as well, being that nobody has ever done this before. COMING UP: Concept art

Jake Adams
MAY 13th- Progress

My story board is complete and will be posted soon. Before adding it to the blog, I wish to research more immersion tactics. Currently I have been struggling with the Looking Glass HoloPlay SDK. This is going to help implement the entire holo comic I am creating. There isn’t a large community however, which poses serious challenges. I have been studying more C# code in order to implement the things I desire, but figuring out how things work with the SDK is the first hurdle.

Jake Adams
MAY 8th- 2019 Holo Comics begins

I will be updating this blog weekly. I hope to elucidate particular goals that I am trying to achieve and allow for feedback with images and text. The project I am proposing is based around the idea of immersion within the context of interactive holographic display. I plan on creating a motion book or holo comic as I call it. The book will have a comic book aesthetic but allow for non-linear narrative and moderate interactivity. The interactivity will be a tedious design challenge (the entire project is a design challenge actually, I have yet to come across any holographic comic books…) as I have to create a book that is in motion and allows interaction with characters while still allowing the application to be a book. Holo comics is a fun endeavor and I look forward to its construction! I am also constructing a site concurrently that will house the application/software that I create. I plan on utilizing it after graduation to help other independent and digitally inclined comic book artists publish their work.