So what exactly does make a virtual world immersive? Well aside from the real-world representation that they offer, many VW’s are 3-D. Does it have to be 3-D to be immersive, not necessarily but 3-D is always better in my book. I virtually attended a Metanomics event featuring Chris Abraham- he stated that the problem with Second Life is that it may be “too immersive.” Hmmm, could SL really be seen as too immersive? I wouldn’t exactly call it that, although it can be an overwhelming experience for a newbie to the world, I would not define it as being too immersive by any means. The learning curve can be immense to someone with little computer (and do I dare say gaming) knowledge.
Although a variety of different types of immersion exist, from sensory to tactile. Immersive environments are unique in that they offer a high level of realism to what is found in the real world. Some of the enticing factors of virtual worlds are the ability to explore, create and interact all of which bring in multiple layers of immersion. By engrossing the player in the environment virtual world environments are gaining prominence as immersive training spaces for all types of learners and organizations. These ‘immersive environments’ are especially helpful when replicating dangerous real life situations such as combat zones and medical training.