Immersed In Difficulty: The Problem of Suspension of Disbelief in Transmedia and Vr Experiences

James Dalby 1 *

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The term Immersion is used widely in professional discourse and industry publications within the UK/US TV and film industries, not only as a self-evident aim of Transmedia and VR content, but also as an achievable goal. Unlike games industries, TV and cinema have traditionally taken the notion of Suspension of Disbelief (SoD) as relatively self-evident, and Immersion appears as its logical extension. Beginning with Holland’s (1967) psychoanalytical approach to SoD as removal of the ‘desire to act’ function by ‘framing’ texts away from reality, this paper suggests that by including the ‘frame’ within the experience in Transmedia and VR, SoD is not achievable and therefore any attempts to approach Immersion in this way will fail. The paper argues that Immersion in such experiences is possible, if approached in the sense that Salen & Zimmerman (2004) suggest, where the actual act of involvement becomes the immersive experience, and not the displacement of sense and story.



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Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 6, Issue September 2016 - Special Issue, pp. 67-85

Published Online: 01 Sep 2016

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