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MMOS FROM THE INSIDE OUT: THE HISTORY, DESIGN, FUN, AND ART OF MASSIVELY-MULTIPLAYER ONLINE ROLE-PLAYING GAMES by Richard Bartle

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CHAPTER 3

On Fun

Immersion

What is immersion?

Simply put, immersion is the feeling that you are in a virtual world.

Don’t Mind if I Do

In some religions of the Indian subcontinent, most notably Hinduism and Sikhism, an avatar is an Earthly incarnation of a deity or other supreme being.

Okay, so it’s not hard to notice that the idea of a supreme being deliberately descending into a created reality bears some similarity with the way that players in the real world descend into an MMO as a character in that world. It isn’t surprising, then, that the word “avatar” has been associated with MMOs several times independently. For example, Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar used it in their early graphical world, Habitat; Richard Garriott used it in Ultima IV ...

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