What makes a story amazing? The kind you know you’ll have to re-watch.
Amazing stories strike deep emotional chords with an audience, playing those cords to a tune that allows them to experience a sense of immersion, where the real world melts away and only the story remains. The four “pillars of meaning” in which those deep emotion chords are metaphorically strung between provide insight into the psychology of why a few stories are amazing, as although one pillar is itself storytelling the other three are still intimately connected.
What was your most immersive experience in gaming?
Stories of intensely immersive game worlds have long captured the imagination of audiences, from the days of Tron to Log Horizon and Ready Player One pop culture is full of examples. Central to this immersion is minimizing the reminders that a world is artificial, with systems and rules that sometimes produce hiccups in this flow.
Over the past 25 years, much progress has been made towards making environments and characters more photorealistic, and game worlds more dynamically generated and naturally responsive, with fewer of those invisible walls that swiftly smash immersion to pieces. Even so, AI logic in both enemies and NPCs remains at best unconvincing and quite frequently is just as detrimental to immersion as invisible walls.