A lot of work has been done in this area.
As videogaming becomes more and more significant, economically speaking, more and more resources are invested in finding out why the popular games are so popular and how to make more immersive games. This leads to new approaches (as the development of technology permits) which in turn engenders new analyses! Just look at how the philosophy of art has changed since Plato, as developments in art and in its philosophy feed off each other! So what is written here will inevitably become dated.
Early analyses back in the 1990's focused on flow: a mental state when one deeply concentrates on a particular task and enjoys it, thus losing oneself in the activity.
Gameplay and Narrative
Other early analyses focused either on immersion related to a ludological approach: gameplay (getting absorbed in meeting the game's challenges - such as in Space Invaders or PacMan) or a narratological approach: looking at narrative (the building up of the story of one's avatar); and the relationship between these two factors.
- The Philosophical Roots of Computer Game Design by Ernest W. Adams (2004), Game Developers' Conference, San Jose, California.
- Abstract: This lecture is a theoretical discussion of the historical, social and technological forces that produced the contemporary culture of computer game design and development. Although game design might seem to be primarily about making successful commercial products, in fact the subjects we choose to explore in our games are not necessarily dictated by the market, but are the product of our own peculiar philosophical origins. As digital technologists we work with the classical tools of logic and order; as creative people we strive for the expression of romantic ideals. This tension between the classic and the romantic sides of our medium is the source of some of our more intractable creative problems. This lecture is not intended to offer specific solutions, but to enlighten and entertain.
- Other lectures by Ernest W Adams (1998-2014)
- In The Game : An Exploration of the Concept of Immersion in Video-Games and its Usage in Game Design by CMS Ojeda (2007)
- Abstract: This thesis outlines a research project whose aim was to develop a design taxonomy for the creation of immersion in video-games. These guidelines can then be used in-sync with different stages in video-game design and development to ensure an immersive experience. Integral to this is the 'suspension of disbelief' the end user experiences when fully immersed in a video-game (Holland, 2002; Mediacollage.com, 2006).