Immersion, the state of consciousness where an immersant's awareness of physical self is diminished or lost by being surrounded in an engrossing total environment
- digital technology or images that actively engage one's senses and may create an altered mental state.
- Immersion into virtual reality is a perception of being physically present in a non-physical world. The perception is created by surrounding the user of the VR system in images, sound or other stimuli that provide an engrossing total environment.
- The degree to which the virtual or artistic environment faithfully reproduces reality determines the degree of suspension of disbelief. The greater the suspension of disbelief, the greater the degree of presence achieved.
- Immersion is a metaphoric use of the experience of submersion applied to representation, fiction or simulation. Immersion can also be defined as the state of consciousness where a "visitor" (Maurice Benayoun) or "immersant" (Char Davies)'s awareness of physical self is transformed by being surrounded in an artificial environment; used for describing partial or complete suspension of disbelief, enabling action or reaction to stimulations encountered in a virtual or artistic environment.
So what does immersive really mean?
The word has been applied to everything from handheld video games to ultra-high-res digital presentations projected on huge hemispherical domes with multi-channel audio. Virtual reality systems with head-mounted displays are considered immersive, as are so-called “caves,” research systems that surround one or two users with 3D images projected on the faces of an 8–10-foot cube.
Most writers on the subject agree that the essence of immersiveness is giving viewers the impression that they are actually in the place depicted by the presentation. This illusion depends on successfully fooling several senses, principally sight and hearing, and eliminating or reducing any cues that would tend to break the illusion.
The basic principle in creating a visually immersive experience is to fill the audience’s field of view. As everyone knows, the closer something is to you, the larger it appears to be, that is, the more of your field of view it fills. A larger object farther away can appear to be the same size as a smaller one that is closer.
So with an image projected on a screen, a smaller screen can be made to seem bigger simply by getting closer to it. As long as the image quality is high enough that the viewer doesn’t begin to see film grain, digital pixels, or other distracting artifacts, the experience is nearly, if not precisely, the same as seeing a larger screen from farther away. As we will see, almost all efforts to create immersive motion picture experiences have involved increasing the amount of information presented, with larger film frames, higher frame rates, or both.