The term immersion has become ubiquitous in descriptions of entertainment activities, including theme park attractions, virtual reality experiences, video games, and more. In nearly all cases, an expectation is that immersion in an activity is a desired outcome. However, this implication is challenged by a lack of research into the relationship between immersion and enjoyment. A further challenge is presented by the lack of a consensus among researchers regarding a precise definition of immersion. This dissertation explores the immersion-enjoyment relationship by first examining the construct of immersion itself, followed by an exploration of the myriad concepts surrounding immersion, including engagement, presence, and flow. From this analysis, a comprehensive definition of immersion was generated. To test immersion's relationship with enjoyment, the context of video games was selected. A wide array of survey tools that study immersion in gaming were examined, which led to the creation of the Immersion-Enjoyment Model and the Immersion-Enjoyment Survey. Experienced players of the game Assassin's Creed Valhalla were recruited to take the survey, which reported on their feelings of immersion and enjoyment in the game, as well as their motivations for game-playing in general. Results of the survey led to several conclusions. First, for participants in this survey there is a weak positive correlation between immersion and enjoyment. Second, narrative and moral self-reflection are moderators to this relationship. And finally, a broader implication is that one of the core tenets of the definition of immersion – lowered awareness of outside stimuli like a phone ringing – was far less frequently experienced by these participants. The conclusion drawn from this study is that while immersion and enjoyment are positively related in this context, the definitional approach to immersion might benefit from a reevaluation
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Eddy, Ronald Ray, "Immersion's Relationship to Enjoyment in Gaming" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 674.