Spatial <a novref=true text=@key href=pattern-immersion.html>Immersion</a>

Spatial Immersion

Perceiving movement in the game from the perspective of oneself moving.

Real-time games which involve moving a game element in a game world, are easier to perform actions in, if one as a player regards the movement of the game element as one was the game element. This Spatial Immersion does not require any other identification with the game element and simply makes the cognitive processes easier for the player.

Example: racing games such as Mario Kart: Double Dash!! or Wipeout put the players in the positions of vehicles moving around racing tracks with the goals of avoid obstacles and being the quickest around the track.

Example: first-person shooters easily give players Spatial Immersion due to the first-person view the games use and the freedom of movement and view they provide.

Using the pattern

Spatial Immersion is most easily achieved by requiring Maneuvering of Avatars in Real-Time Games using First-Person Views. However, Third-Person Views can also works as can other Focus Loci with the exception of God Views. Although Spatial Immersion is most common in Real-Time Games, even Turn-Based Games such as RoboRally can give Spatial Immersion by requiring players to plan their Movement in advance.

The use of Cameras can increase the Spatial Immersion but at the cost of limiting the possibilities for Emotional Immersion. Attention Swapping caused by Surprises and other Disruption of Focus Attention events within the Game World can further strengthen Spatial Immersion. Aim & Shoot and other Dexterity-Based Actions can encourage Spatial Immersion as they force players to consider the spatial properties of other game elements without necessarily requiring thought about the movement of oneself.


Spatial Immersion is the Immersion gained by perceiving Maneuvering of objects in the game from the perspective of oneself moving. Having Spatial Immersion eases the understanding of where game elements are in the Game World and the consequences of their Movement, as well as how game elements are spatially related to each other. Game World Navigation is a common task when performing Maneuvering, a task eased by achieving Spatial Immersion, and gives players the Anticipation of being able to arrive at a destination. However, Game World Navigation requires players to form abstract representations of the Game World from an outside perspective and therefore counters Spatial Immersion. This paradoxical effect of navigating can be lessened by giving players Limited Planning Abilities so that they are forced to base most of their actions on their immediate surroundings.


Instantiates: Game World Navigation, Immersion, Anticipation


Instantiated by: Aim & Shoot, Surprises, Avatars, Focus Loci, Disruption of Focused Attention, Movement, Maneuvering, First-Person Views, Third-Person Views, Real-Time Games, Game World, Dexterity-Based Actions, Limited Planning Ability

Modulated by: Attention Swapping, Cameras

Potentially conflicting with: God Views, Game World Navigation