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Immersion in Mobile Phone Games: Avatar games VS AR games

Updated: Apr 26

Zubina Hussain


Abstract:

Immersion in video games have been studied mostly in video games played in PC, video game consoles and VR Headsets. There is limited study in mobile games when it comes to immersion. This paper compares the level of immersion in two types of mobile games; Avatar games and Augmented Reality (AR) games. The study investigated whether games that involve the player as an Avatar are more immersive than AR games where players play in a real-world environment. It will also include the participant’s perspective of whether popularity with a franchise like Harry Potter and Pokémon influenced their level of immersion. The study was conducted with 40 participants out of which 20 participants were asked to play two Harry Potter games (Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite) and 20 participants were asked to play two Pokémon games (Pokémon Masters EX and Pokémon Go.) The age group chosen for the study was 19-25 and the participants resided in parts of North Bengal and Sikkim. The players were asked to fill a questionnaire based on their experience of playing the game for 7 days for a minimum time span of 30 minutes per day. The results of the study pointed out that participants preferred the Avatar games with respect to level progression, audio immersion and narrative. However, the AR games were preferred in terms of game-player interaction and which game they felt more immersed overall. The results were 50-50 when asked whether they preferred playing as an avatar (in Pokémon Masters EX/ Hogwarts Mystery) or playing in a real-world environment (in Pokémon Go and Wizards Unite) which meant that the hypothesis was proven non-conclusive. The study also features interviews of two game designers and their stance on immersion in Avatar and Augmented Reality games.

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