My research attempts to answer the question ‘Can Virtual Reality games allow for more immersive and tactile experiences than games played via more conventional systems?’. One of the major elements driving my passion for games is the opportunity that the medium offers for exploration: of worlds, characters, environments and stories. From my own experience, exploration is best facilitated by games with high levels of immersion, allowing for a high level of player engagement with the elements expressed above. Recent innovations in VR create potential for games to offer new levels of immersion.
My research is mostly qualitative, using a combination of conceptual and empirical research methods, examining secondary sources, and analysing games as case studies. Particularly important has been ‘Measuring and defining the experience of immersion in games’ (Jennett et al.). A phenomenological approach, using playtesting, has been used to examine whether players find VR more immersive than non-VR. Empirical data gained by conducting playtests of my prototype (my body of work), using both inductive and deductive approaches, as well as action research during development, helped to answer my secondary research questions ‘How to best adapt mechanics to VR?’ and ‘What are the best methods for building these mechanics?’
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