Some Thoughts on Immersion

Posted by Cha

In the non-fiction comic book Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud talks about how a simply-drawn cartoon character may actually increase our emotional investment versus a more photorealistic character. The theory goes that an iconic representation is a partially blank slate, and we can more easily project ourselves onto them. Tintin is an example of a comic where you will find panels including both detailed background art, and a much simpler, more cartoony character, thus drawing us into the scene.

By this logic, in third-person gaming a cartoony avatar (say, a World of Warcraft character) may be easier to identify with than an avatar rendered in more detail (such as a Heavy Rain character).