Lynn, Christopher Jordan
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Videogames are an experiential medium; in order to gauge how much a consumer will enjoy a game, he must play it for himself. Unlike a lawnmower or digital clock, the consumer cannot adequately discern the level of utility he will enjoy from his new videogame purchase simply by reading the features and benefits listed on the package label. For the average consumer, $59.99 is a rather large gamble to take on a purchase that may hold little to no utility. Immersion—an experiential phenomenon experienced commonly in the best videogames—is the goal for many players and thus for designers, yet we know very little about the nature of the immersive experience and we have yet to identify the elements that will reliably produce such an experience. This thesis examines the previously conducted research about immersion in videogames, and through analysis of previous works and interviews with dedicated gamers develops a theory of “player preference profiles” to explain how players relate to their favorite games.