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Raph Koster: Immersion is not a core game virtue

Jef Reahard

Yeah, you read that right, virtual world fans. One of the more celebrated sandbox MMORPG developers is apparently throwing in the towel when it comes to immersion. Raph Koster wrote what can only be termed a lament on his personal blog today, saying that "immersion does not make a lot of sense in a mobile, interruptable world."

Koster characterizes immersion as a style whose time has come and gone, and he concludes that games are no longer for dreamers due to their far-reaching popularity. "I mourn the gradual loss of deep immersion and the trappings of geekery that I love," Koster writes. "I see the ways in which the worlds I once dove into headlong have become incredibly expensive endeavors, movies-with-button-presses far more invested in telling me their story, rather than letting me tell my own."

Whether you agree with him or not, it's a sobering read coming from one of the chief creative forces behind Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online.

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